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Home > Press > Asylum Research Introduces blueDrive™ Photothermal Excitation For Atomic Force Microscopy Imaging and Nanomechanics

blueDrive photothermal excitation produces ideal drive responses in both air and liquid. Here, the response of a small, high-frequency cantilever was measured using blueDrive. In both air and liquid, the blueDrive response almost perfectly matches the expected simple harmonic oscillator response.
blueDrive photothermal excitation produces ideal drive responses in both air and liquid. Here, the response of a small, high-frequency cantilever was measured using blueDrive. In both air and liquid, the blueDrive response almost perfectly matches the expected simple harmonic oscillator response.

Abstract:
Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments company, announces blueDrive photothermal excitation, an option available exclusively for Asylum's Cypher™ Atomic Force Microscopes (AFMs). blueDrive makes tapping mode imaging remarkably simple, incredibly stable, and strikingly accurate. blueDrive replaces the conventional piezoacoustic excitation mechanism, instead using a blue laser to directly excite the AFM cantilever photothermally. This results in an ideal cantilever drive response in both air and liquids, which provides significant performance and ease of use benefits for tapping mode imaging.

Asylum Research Introduces blueDrive™ Photothermal Excitation For Atomic Force Microscopy Imaging and Nanomechanics

Santa Barbara, CA | Posted on November 7th, 2013

"Tapping mode is by far the dominant choice in the world of AFM due to its performance and versatility. blueDrive reinvents tapping mode AFM imaging, making it simpler, more stable and more quantitative," said Ben Ohler, Director of Marketing at Asylum Research. "These benefits extend across the entire range of tapping mode measurements, from topographical imaging in air and liquids to quantitative nanomechanical mapping of viscoelastic properties."

"The cantilever response in tapping mode provides a remarkably sensitive and rich measure of both conservative and dissipative tip-sample interactions," explained Jason Cleveland, CEO and co-founder of Asylum Research. "This same depth of information can't be obtained by force mapping techniques. So rather than abandoning tapping mode, as others have, at Asylum we developed blueDrive to make tapping mode imaging easier and more stable. blueDrive also enhances many of the tools in our NanomechPro™ toolkit, like loss tangent imaging and AM-FM and Contact Resonance Viscoelastic Mapping Modes, making them more robust and more accurate."

Photothermal cantilever excitation was first used in the early 1990's to achieve the clean, linear drive response demanded by then newly developed frequency-modulation (FM) imaging techniques. Since those early days, AFM manufacturers have begun to recognize more and more that the drive response in all AC mode or tapping mode techniques suffers from limitations of piezoacoustic excitation. Various attempts at so-called "direct-drive" piezoacoustic and magnetic actuation (such as iDrive™) have been put forth as solutions. Lately, some have called for replacing tapping mode outright. Asylum Research recognized the potential for photothermal excitation to dramatically improve tapping mode imaging. The flexible, modular optical path in the Cypher AFM made it practical to offer this capability commercially for the first time.

blueDrive is available exclusively on the Asylum Research Cypher S and Cypher ES AFMs and is compatible with the full range of tapping mode techniques in air and liquid including topographic imaging, phase imaging, electric force microscopy (EFM), Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM, or surface potential imaging), magnetic force microscopy (MFM), and AM-FM and Contact Resonance Viscoelastic Mapping Modes. blueDrive makes tapping mode setup exceptionally easy. It works together with the Cypher SpotOn™ click-to-align laser feature and its ideal drive response eliminates cantilever tune uncertainty. It is also completely safe for temperature sensitive samples, with adjustable laser power to ensure the optimal drive power for probes in air and liquid.

For more information, visit our website at http://www.AsylumResearch.com/blueDrive or email us at for a quotation.

####

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

Contacts:
Terry Mehr, Manager, Marketing Communications
Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments company
805-696-6466

Copyright © Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments company

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