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Home > Press > Asylum Research Introduces GetReal™ Automated Probe Calibration: The Best Way to Fully Calibrate AFM Probes

Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments company, announces the release of the new GetReal™ Automated Probe Calibration feature. With just one click, GetReal fully calibrates the atomic force microscope (AFM) probe sensitivity and spring constant, enabling more consistent, more accurate results. GetReal also protects the probe from damage that often occurs with conventional calibration methods, preserving the sharpest tip for the highest resolution imaging. Eliminating hassle and risk from the calibration process makes GetReal the obvious best choice. GetReal is included at no extra charge exclusively with Asylum Research MFP-3D™ and Cypher™ family AFMs. It is also available as a free software upgrade to most of our existing AFM customers.

Asylum Research Introduces GetReal™ Automated Probe Calibration: The Best Way to Fully Calibrate AFM Probes

Santa Barbara, CA | Posted on September 3rd, 2013

"There's a lot of emphasis on accurate, quantitative results in the AFM community, but we found that many users are skipping an essential calibration step—they either don't calibrate the probe at all, and express the cantilever deflection in Volts, or they rely on notoriously inaccurate nominal values," explained Ben Ohler, AFM Business Manager at Asylum Research. "GetReal provides a competitive edge to our customers, enabling them to simply, and accurately calibrate their probes every time they use their AFM, ensuring higher quality data."

"Asylum Research pioneered the field of AFM-based force measurements and was the first to provide a commercial solution for accurately calibrating AFM cantilever spring constants," noted Jason Cleveland, CEO of Asylum Research. "GetReal builds on that legacy and reinforces Asylum's position as the technology leader in AFM. It is based on years of expertise and technical developments by Asylum scientists in the field of AFM cantilever calibration."

GetReal is based on two well-established spring constant calibration techniques, the thermal noise method and the Sader method. Though typically used independently to calibrate only the cantilever spring constant, Asylum Research co-founders and scientists Proksch and Cleveland, along with collaborators, recognized that the two methods could be used together to solve for both the cantilever sensitivity and spring constant (see M.J. Higgins, R. Proksch, J.E. Sader, M. Polcik, S. McEndoo, J.P. Cleveland, and S.P. Jarvis, Rev. Sci. Instrum., 77, 013701, 2006). GetReal is a highly automated implementation of this approach, requiring only that the user specify the probe model name and click one button to start the calibration. With no further intervention, the probe is fully calibrated and ready to use. It's not only the simplest way to get calibrated, but it also helps protect sharp AFM tips from damage. Conventional methods require the cantilever sensitivity to be calibrated by pressing the tip against a hard surface. This can easily break the tip, reducing imaging resolution and compromising data integrity. GetReal is a completely non-contact, "no-touch" method that is inherently safe for the tip. These advantages come together with state-of-the-art accuracy, comparable to conventional methods.

For a real time demonstration, see the video at


About Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments company
Asylum Research is the technology leader in atomic force microscopy for both materials and bioscience applications, dedicated to innovative instrumentation for nanoscience and nanotechnology. Founded in 1999, Asylum Research has over 300 years combined AFM/SPM experience among our staff. Asylum Research AFMs are used for a variety of nanoscience applications in material science, physics, polymers, chemistry, biomaterials, and bioscience, including single molecule mechanical experiments on DNA, protein unfolding and polymer elasticity, as well as force measurements for biomaterials, chemical sensing, polymers, colloidal forces, adhesion, and more.

Asylum’s MFP-3D™ family of AFMs sets the standard for AFM technology, with unprecedented precision and flexibility. Four configurations now comprise the MFP-3D family. The MFP-3D Origin, the most affordable member, offers performance and full upgrade potential. The full MFP-3D provides performance with the maximum versatility of a wide range of modes and accessories. The
MFP-3D-BIO™ is the only full capability AFM integrated with commercial inverted optical microscopes for advanced bioscience research. In addition, our MFP NanoIndenter™ offers the only true instrumented indenting for quantitative measurements.
The Cypher™ AFM is the highest resolution fast scanning AFM, now with environmental control.  Cypher provides low-drift closed loop atomic resolution for the most accurate images and measurements possible today, point defect atomic resolution, >20X faster AC imaging with small cantilevers, Spot-On™ automated laser and photodetector alignment for easy setup, integrated thermal, acoustic and vibration control, and broad support for all major AFM/SPM scanning modes and capabilities.

Asylum Research offers the best warranties in the industry, ranging from two to five years, along with unmatched customer support. Asylum has global sales and service offices in Germany, UK, Japan, Shanghai and Taiwan.

About Oxford Instruments plc

Oxford Instruments designs, supplies and supports high-technology tools and systems with a focus on research and industrial applications. It provides solutions needed to advance fundamental physics research and its transfer into commercial nanotechnology applications. Innovation has been the driving force behind Oxford Instruments' growth and success for over 50 years, and its strategy is to effect the successful commercialization of these ideas by bringing them to market in a timely and customer-focused fashion.
The first technology business to be spun out from Oxford University over fifty years ago, Oxford Instruments is now a global company with over 2000 staff worldwide and is listed on the FTSE250 index of the London Stock Exchange (OXIG).  Its objective is to be the leading provider of new generation tools and systems for the research and industrial sectors.
This involves the combination of core technologies in areas such as low temperature, high magnetic field and ultra high vacuum environments, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, X-ray, electron and optical based metrology, and advanced growth, deposition and etching.
Oxford Instruments aims to pursue responsible development and deeper understanding of our world through science and technology. Its products, expertise, and ideas address global issues such as energy, environment, security and health.

For more information, please click here

Terry Mehr
Dir. of Marketing

Copyright © Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments company

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