AFM attachment uses rare-earth magnets for conductive and magnetic microscopy

November 1, 2011 — Scanning probe/atomic force microscopy company Asylum Research introduced the Variable Field Module2 (VFM2) for the MFP-3D Atomic Force Microscopes (AFM). It allows researchers to apply magnetic fields in conductive AFM experiments, magnetic force microscopy, and other applications.

Rare-earth magnets produce the field without heat, thermal drift, or mechanical vibration. The magnetic fields are continuously adjustable, applied parallel to the sample plane approaching one Tesla with one Gauss resolution. An integrated Gaussmeter provides a quantitative measure of the applied magnetic field.

Five frames showing a piece of Perpendicular Media Recording (PMR) hard disk degaussed with an in-plane ~0.5 Tesla magnetic field using the VFM2.

VFM2 attaches to the MFP-3D AFM with adjustable pole tips to accommodate maximum required field, sample placement, and minimum field gradients. Research on piezoelectrics and ferroelectrics can be conducted with an attachable VFM2 High Voltage Kit, for tip biases up to ±220V.

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The VFM2 replaces “complicated” superconducting or water-cooled magnets, said Roger Proksch, president of Asylum Research, “neither of which were particularly friendly to low-noise, high precision AFM measurements.”

Asylum Research makes atomic force and scanning probe microscopy (AFM/SPM) for both materials and bioscience applications. Internet:


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