Nanoindentation > AFM STM

High resolution Multimode Atomic Force Microscopy / Scanning Tunelling Microscopy for Research & Teaching



Committed to Nanotechnology

In the new and fast growing market for nanotechnology and its applications, Nanosurf has committed itself to smart solutions in the area of scanning probe microscopes and positioning devices with nanometre resolution, as well as being a solution provider of new nanotechnological implementations in the future.


Miniaturization has been successful in most of the industrial parts and has led to lots of new, innovative solutions. The process of miniaturization has now reached the nanometre range and will therefore inspire new applications and continue to play an important role in industrial development.


CoreAFM — The essence of AFM.

The CoreAFM is the result of intelligently combining the core components of AFM to achieve maximum versatility and user-friendliness. Due to this fundamental design approach, the CoreAFM is equipped to perform AFM at its best.

See for yourself how easy it is to prepare and operate the CoreAFM. Watch the video for a demonstration of the main features, and a brief tutorial on how to perform a measurement using this system.

Compact and complete

The fusion of a modern flexure-guided scanner, XYZ sample stage, camera, active vibration isolation table, and acoustic shielding in a single all-in-one unit results in a complete AFM system with an unparalleled compact footprint. The system comes with a fully digital 32-bit controller developed specifically for the CoreAFMscanhead. All the essential functions of modern AFM are integral components of the CoreAFM system; all you need to do to take the CoreAFM into operation is connect the controller, and plug in power and USB.

Powerful and versatile

State of the art electronics with 24-bit ADC and DAC ensure high-resolution XYZ driving of the 100×100×12 µm scanner and allow for low-noise force detection limited only by the cantilever. Thirty-two standard and optional modes with fully compatible add-ons make the CoreAFM the tool of choice for applications ranging from materials research to life science and electrochemistry. Starting from the basic CoreAFM system, its functionality can be seamlessly extended.

Deeper system integration of the Isostage is reflected in the unique SpikeGuard, which eliminates glitches during imaging. Although the Isostage is an active vibration isolation system, glitches can still occur when distortions are too severe. SpikeGuard detects such anomalies and rescans the line for a distortion-free image.

Included measurement modes

The CoreAFM can perform static force, dynamic force, phase imaging, MFM, lateral force, force modulation, standard spectroscopy, and standard lithography out of the box. You can however enhance your measurement experience with CoreAFM mode kits.

Included standard mode kits

By default, the CoreAFM comes with the static force mode kit, dynamic force mode kit, and phase imaging mode kit to get you started right away. Depending on the measurement mode, a mode kit may include samples, suitable cantilevers, accessories, or a combination thereof.

Additional standard mode kits

Additional standard-level mode kits that can be acquired separately are the standard spectroscopy kit, standard lithography kit, standard MFM mode kit, standard liquid mode kit, lateral force mode kit, and force modulation mode kit.

Advanced functionality

Advanced AFM modes and functionality like sample heating, environmental control, scripting, and many others can easily be added to your CoreAFM. For details and dependencies, see the overview graphic above and the primary and secondary add-on lists in the sidebar.

Value for money

The minimalist and integrated design eliminates the need for additional acoustic shielding, camera housing, and so on, thus making every remaining component essential to its function. Less is more in the case of the CoreAFM, more value for your money.

The CoreAFM and its accessories have been designed as part of a consistent system concept.

The result is an integrated, high-quality, high-performance, and versatile AFM system that offers the best price-to-performance ratio on the market. An atomic force microscope that is easy to use, robust, and easily extendable.

The CoreAFM brings you back to the essence of AFM: the measurement, not the machine!

Flex-Axiom — AFM for materials research.


The most flexible and versatile atomic force microscope for materials research

For success in materials research studies, scientists depend on professional tools that can readily provide the information needed, regardless of the tasks at hand. By advancing key technologies and designs, Nanosurf has made the Flex-Axiom one of the most versatile and flexible AFMs ever, allowing a large variety of materials research applications to be handled with ease. Together with the powerful C3000 controller, complex material characterizations are possible.

Used by hundreds of researchers for many applications

The Flex-Axiom is your reliable tool for topographical and metrological imaging of samples in both air and liquid. But the Flex-Axiom goes beyond topography, for example with advanced mechanical, electrical, or magnetic characterization. The system has also been successfully used for local sample manipulation.

Topography, KPFM, and MFM images of the same area of a stainless steel sample

The precision and performance you need for your research

The Flex-Axiom uses an extremely linear electromagnetic scanner for XY movement. This scanner delivers an average linearity deviation of less than 0.1% over the full scan range, top-ranking on the AFM market. The Z-axis is piezo-driven, with a position sensor that enables closed-loop operation. A sensitive cantilever detection system can measure well into the MHz frequency range. The scan head is connected to the full-featured, 24-bit C3000 controller with digital feedback and 2 dual-channel lock-in amplifiers.

Imaging of single and multiple pyrene nanosheets and height analysis with sub-nanometer accuracy. Data courtesy: Mykhailo Vybornyi, University of Berne, Switzerland

Modular design: get more for your money today and be prepared for changing needs in the future

With a modular stage concept and various possible cantilever holder types, the Flex-Axiom is ready for all your current and future needs. On the C3000 controller, 14 AFM operating modes have already been implemented, with more to follow, allowing highly advanced measurements and experiments in the field of materials research. The ECS 204 electrochemical stage, for example, provides electrochemical and environmental control over the sample and its surroundings, resulting in exciting new discoveries.

Together with some of our high-end research customers, custom solutions for large-area nano-lithography, operation in a glovebox, and magneto-resistive sensing have been developed.

The modular concept of the Flex-Axiom also allows easy upgrades to other products of the FlexAFM product line (Flex-Bio for life science, Flex-ANA for automatic nanomechanical analysis, and Flex-FPM for cell and nano-manipulation) to further extend the possibilities of your Flex-Axiom research system.

Practical details that really matter in daily use

The FlexAFM video option integrates two cameras for parallel top and side view, allowing you to quickly find an area of interest and to bring the cantilever close to the surface before the final, automatic approach.

Cantilever holders with alignment structures are available for use with cantilevers containing alignment grooves. This provides micrometer repositioning accuracy, circumventing laser alignment and allowing you to find the same sample features again and again, even when switching cantilevers during an experiment.

Flex-Axiom components and accessories

At the heart of the Flex-Axiom system are the FlexAFM scan head and the C3000 controller with I100 interface box. On top of that, several options and accessories are available, designed to deliver stable and reliable results, or to provide access to new measurement possibilities and experiments:

NaioAFM — The leading compact AFM.


All-in-one atomic force microscope for small samples and nanoeducation

The NaioAFM is the ideal atomic force microscope for nanoeducation and small sample measurements. More than just the successor of the well-known Easyscan 2 AFM, this all-in-one AFM system provides solid performance and easy handling, with a price tag and footprint that fit anyone and any place.

A robust and high-quality AFM product

The NaioAFM is AFM scan head, controller, sample stage, micrometer positioning table, anti-vibration solution, and measurement accoustic enclosure all in one! Because of this, there are no loose parts that can get lost or assembled the wrong way. This is crucial in environments with new and inexperienced AFM users.

When the scan compartment is opened, for example to change the AFM sample or cantilever, the scanner is automatically retracted to prevent crashing of the cantilever into the sample when the compartment is closed again afterwards. Upon closing, a clever mechanism stably presses the AFM scan head onto a 3 point mount system and closes the acoustic isolation around the AFM sample and scan head. This way, the scanner compartment is effectively isolated from noise and air currents, and sample and scan head are connected via the smallest possible mechanical loop, all resulting in improved stability and measurement quality.

The NaioAFM also has an AFM sample stage with sample positioners built-in. These positioners can easily be uncoupled from the sample stage itself after position adjustment, resulting in the AFM sample only resting on a mounting platform that is directly attached to the granite table at the base of the system. This heavy stone table and the additional passive vibration isolation feet of the NaioAFM further protect the measurement against vibration disturbances, making the system very robust during measurements.

No real setup needed

To use the NaioAFM, just plug in the power and USB cables, start the user-friendly software, and you're ready to go within minutes! No real setup is required. Check out our overview video to see just how easy this is. Because the NaioAFM comes with a cantilever alignment chip, cantilever exchange is really easy as well, and laser alignment becomes a thing of the past. Watch the cantilever exchange video to see how it's done.

An additional advantage of the compact, all-in-one design of the NaioAFM is it's portability: the system comes with a carrying case that allows taking the instrument to another room, institute, or even on a train or airplane. It will be up and running at the new location in no time. What other AFM instrument gives you this amount of flexibility?

Video tutorials

You won't believe how easy it is to operate the NaioAFM. Well, you just might — after watching these extensive NaioAFM video tutorials. They will acquaint you with the system and will allow you to train yourself and/or others in the confident use of an atomic force microscope in any research or nanoeducation environment.

Options and acccessories

Although the NaioAFM is a complete AFM solution in and of itself, the following options and accessories can complement or extend its functionality:

AFM cantilevers

AFM extended sample kit

Dynamic measurement modes

Advanced measurement modes

Spectroscopy and calibration option

NaioAFM sideview camera

Isostage 300

NaioSTM — Thebest selling scanning tunneling microscope.


The all-in-one scanning tunneling microscope for an easy entry into the world of atoms

The NaioSTM is a scanning tunneling microscope that brings together scan head and controller in a single instrument for even simpler installation, maximized ease of use, and straightforward transportability. The setup is robust against vibrations and can be used to achieve atomic resolution on HOPG in standard classroom situations. With its 204 × 204 mm footprint it hardly takes up any workbench space.

Over more than 20 years and three development generations, Nanosurf's scanning tunneling microscope has become the number one STM solution in the field. Because of its clever composition, it is widely regarded as the logical choice for performing scanning tunneling microscopy in all kinds of educational settings and basic research, with almost 1500 instruments in operation around the world.

It is so easy to use, professors and teachers love to carry out practical demonstrations on the NaioSTM, and students find it highly motivating to be able to successfully perform hands-on experiments themselves, without long preparation.

Scanning tunneling microscopy is considered as one of the cornerstones of nanotechnology. Paired with the NaioAFM, Nanosurf brings nanotechnology to the classroom, providing insights in the fields of physics, biology and chemistry.

Smart design

The smart and purposeful design is perfectly suited to the needs of educational institutions: the system integrates scan head, controller, air-flow shielding with a magnifying glass to aid the initial approach, and vibration isolation on a heavy stone table. The very small mechanical loop of < 10 mm provides the stability to achieve atomic resolution on a coffee table or in a class room. The additional passive vibration isolation feet further protect measurements against disturbances, making the system very robust during operation. The system functions without high voltage, making it safe in unexperienced hands.

Ease of use

The smart design does not only provide good performance, but also makes the NaioSTM very easy to use. All that is required in terms of setup is to connect 2 cables: power and USB. It is safe to be handled by students or other users with no prior training, thanks to the lack of high voltage and its general robust design. Scanning tips are simply cut from Pt/lr wire, no hazardous substances are required to etch the tips. The process from setup up to seeing the first successful images can be achieved within a few minutes. The intuitive software is equipped with helpful wizards to guide you through the measurement process.

Options and acccessories

Although the NaioSTM is a complete scanning tunneling microscopy solution in and of itself, the following options and accessories can complement or extend its functionality:

Pt/Ir wire to prepare STM tips

A variety of STM measurement samples

Additional measurement modes

Isostage 300

Flex-ANA — AFM for automated force mapping


The perfect tool for fully automated nanomechanical data acquisition and analysis

The Nanosurf Flex-ANA system is an automated solution for AFM-based nanomechanical analysis. It is designed to investigate the nanomechanical properties of materials such as cells, tissues, scaffolds, hydrogels, and polymers on multiple or large samples via force spectroscopy and force mapping in an intuitive and automated fashion.

Nanomechanical analysis of large or multiple samples

The combination of a straight-forward experimental and post-processing workflow, selected hardware elements, and thought-through, well-designed control algorithms are hallmarks of the Flex-ANA system. Measurement locations on large or multiple samples are defined using an overview image with a large field-of-view that covers the entire accessible 32 mm × 32 mm sample area. Height differences of up to 5 mm can be overcome automatically by the system!

Intelligent software autonomously deals with demanding samples

During an experiment, smart algorithms coordinate the movement of the scan head and the motorized XYZ translation stage (32 mm × 32 mm × 5 mm range), which can optionally be equipped with an additional 100-µm Z piezo for an extended spectroscopy range. To cope with large sample height variations, proprietary algorithms permanently monitor and optimize the sample position with respect to the probing cantilever and drive all Z elements accordingly. Thus, soft and sticky samples, as well as samples with macroscopic and microscopic roughness in the range of several millimeters and micrometers, respectively, can be easily addressed.

Software for advanced analysis and comparison of large, complex data sets

Besides conducting automated nanomechanical measurements, the Flex-ANA system offers advanced data post-processing and analysis capabilities:

Flex-ANA components

FlexAFM scan head

C3000 controller

ATS 204 automated translation stage

Isostage vibration isolation table

5 MP Overview Camera

Dedicated PC for data acquisition and analysis

Flex-ANA measurement and analysis software

Optional 100-µm Z-actuator

Flex-FPM — FlexAFM with FluidFM® functionality

The next-generation microfluidic tool for nanomanipulation and single-cell biology
  • Opens the door to fascinating new experiments
  • An integrated solution with optical, force, and microfluidic control
  • Innovative and intuitive handling
  • Comes with Nanosurf’s reliability, experience, and know-how
  • Ask your question or discuss your application with one of our application scientists.
  • Flex-FPM (FluidFM probe microscope) combines the force sensitivity and positional accuracy of the Nanosurf FlexAFM with FluidFM technology by Cytosurge to allow a whole range of exciting applications in single-cell biology and nanoscience:

    Flex-FPM opens the door to fascinating new experiments

    Also see the Nanosurf application gallery or the sidebar with applications and publications on the right for more intriguing Flex-FPM and FluidFM experiments.

    An integrated solution with optical, force, and fluidic control

    Optical cell selection by fluorescence properties (left image). The cantilever was gently placed on the cell under force control and trypsin administration was monitored from a co-deposited fluorescence dye (blue). After release, the cell was picked up with the same cantilever and isolated from the rest by placing it in a separate well, sorted by fluorescence (right image; adapted from Lab Chip (2014) 14, 402‑414 with permission from The Royal Society of Chemistry). Data courtesy: O. Guilaume-Gentil, ETH Zürich, Switzerland.


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