NCMN Central Facility for
Scanning Probe Microscopy
The NCMN operates and coordinates seven Central Facilities that are open to all UNL researchers as well as external (private sector) researchers. The Central Facility for Scanning Probe Microscopy is one of these facilities. To learn more about our facility, please go to our Equipment web page.
The Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) Facility provides nanometer-scale characterization of materials by using Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM), Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM), Electric Force Microscopy (EFM), and Piezoresponse Atomic Force Microscopy (PFM), etc. SPM can provide a wealth of information from topography, surface morphology, to magnetic phase or friction analysis, including line width, grain size, pitch and depth, roughness measurements, sectioning of surfaces, power spectral density, particle analysis, surface defects, and pattern recognition, etc.
The Facility is Equiped with:
1. EnviroScope Atomic Force Microscope (ESCOPE)
The new Digital Instruments ESCOPE combines AFM imaging with environmental controls and hermetically sealed sample chamber to perform contact, lateral force, and TappingMode atomic force microscopy in air, vacuum, or a purged gas, as well as a heating environ- ment. With advanced environmental capabilities, users can observe sample reactions to a variety of complex environmental conditions while scanning. In addition, the new system supports STM in air or vacuum.
2. Dimension 3100 SPM system
The Digital Instruments Nanoscope IIIa Dimension 3100 SPM system is a multifunction scanning probe microscope to measure surface charac- teristics for a large variety of materials, such as nanoparticles, polymers, DNA, semiconductor thin films, magnetic media, optics and other advanced nanostructures.
Our MFM facility can scan samples in external magnetic fields, which is useful for magnetic domain imaging. The magnetic fields available using permanent magnets are ± 0.25 T perpendicular to the sample and ± 0.45 T parallel to the sample.
The facility is available to all qualified researchers, who are properly trained at UNL, on pay- ment of the appropriate charges for equipment use. Research collaborations are welcome from all UNL faculty as well as companies in Nebraska and elsewhere.
MFM domain images of Co/Pt multi-layers with 8, 10.5, 11, and 12 Å NiO interlayers.
Dr. Lanping Yue, Facility Specialist
AFM image of monodispersed, sub-10nm Fe clusters produced by inert gas condensation.