Scanning Probe Microscope (SPM) Laboratory
Uses for SPM
Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) generally refers to a set of surface characterization techniques that utilize micro-machined cantilever probes with sharp tips to scan the sample surface. Since its inception in the 1980s, the SPM has evolved into one of the most powerful tools for nanoscale measurement and imaging. High resolution topographical surface characterization is perhaps the most common use of the SPM, but a wide range of advanced SPM modes are also available to study the electrical, magnetic, and mechanical properties of surfaces. These include such techniques as Lateral Force Microscopy (LFM), Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM), Electric Force Microscopy (EFM), Conductive Atomic Force Microscopy (C-AFM), Force Modulation Atomic Force Microscopy (FM-AFM), and phase imaging. At any one time, the SPM lab has over 100 active users on campus from multiple departments and multi-disciplinary backgrounds. Typical samples studied include metals, glasses and ceramics, polymers, biomaterials, and nanostructured materials for electronic applications (nanowires, nanodots, etc.).
We are equipped with two scanning probe microscopes, each providing multiple modes of operation. We have a Veeco Multimode scanning probe microscope equipped with a Quadrex Nanoscope IIIA controller. The Multimode can accommodate samples up to 15 mm in diameter, and it features liquid cells for both contact and tapping mode imaging in liquid environments. We have three different scanners for the Multimode: J-type scanner (with maximum scan size of 160 X 160 μm), an E-type scanner (~15 X 15 μm), and an A-type scanner (1 X 1 μm). The Multimode features the following modes of operation:
We also have a Park Systems XE-70 model scanning probe microscope. Unlike conventional tube scanner technology, the Park system features decoupled flexure-guided X, Y and Z scanners with zero background curvature. The Z-servo response is also considerably higher than that of conventional tube scanners, thus enabling true Non-Contact mode. The machine accommodates samples up to 100 mm in diameter and has a maximum scan size of 50 X 50 μm (5 X 5 μm in low-voltage mode). The Z range is 12 μm (1.7 μm in low-voltage mode). The Park setup includes direct on-axis optics with manual Z focus stage. The Park microscope is situated on an active vibration isolation table within a hermetically sealed acoustic enclosure to ensure very low noise floor for high resolution imaging. The microscope also features a dynamic liquid cell for fluid imaging and a heating stage for controlled elevated temperature studies (up to 250 °C). The Park system has the following available modes:
Make sure you have completed the appropriate steps to becoming a Labmember. You will need a current Stanford Nano Shared Facilities - Access Authorization Form on file with Catherine Meng in Spilker 105 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Basic training for the SPM consists of two 2-hour sessions which can be conducted in groups of up to three trainees. Those interested in training should contact the SPM lab managers for information and training schedules. Additional training in specific SPM techniques will be available on as as-needed basis following completion of the basic training.