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Nanoscale imaging has never been easier

Collect nanoscale topography data on your benchtop in three clicks with the nGauge AFM.

ICSPI has integrated all of the components of a traditional AFM onto a single 1 mm x 1 mm chip to create the world’s first single-chip AFM. That means that 250 AFMs can fit on the face of a penny.

The nGauge AFM uses micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) to control the X, Y and Z position of the tip. This means that no alignment of lasers is required.

The nGauge is the smallest AFM in the world. Because the entire unit weighs less than 500 grams, the nGauge rejects building vibrations, so no vibration isolation table is needed, which makes the nGauge a true benchtop AFM.


What can I use AFM for?

AFM provides topographical data of a surface. That means that you can look at the shape and size of individual features, such as the pits on a DVD, or look at the particle density, such as the number of nanoparticles in an area.

The nGauge AFM can be used to investigate surfaces where the features are up to 10 µm tall. It's tricky to pinpoint a lower limit, but the RMS noise in the vertical (z) direction of the nGauge is 1 nanometre (nm). So, depending on your requirements, features as small as 5–10 nm can be imaged with the nGauge with acceptable accuracy.

To put what a nanometer is into perspective, a quarter (25-cent coin) is about 2 cm wide. An E. coli bacterium cell is 2 µm wide (10,000× smaller than a quarter). And the diameter of a DNA helix is 2 nm (1,000× smaller than a bacterium).

Key Features

3d nanoscale images in 3 clicks

  • Go from sample loading to 3d nanoscale data in two minutes
  • “One-click” automatic approach brings the tip to the sample in seconds
  • Collect topography, morphology, film thickness, roughness and phase data

Simple benchtop set-up and plug-and-play operation

  • Simply plug the nGauge AFM into a regular power outlet and into the USB port of your computer
  • Install an nGauge AFM chip and place a sample on the platform to start imaging
  • Everything you need to start scanning comes in a compact carrying case

Ultra-durable probes capable of hundreds of scans

  • nGauge AFM probes are durable and maximize lifetime: each probe is capable of hundreds of scans without wear
  • Ultra-low tapping force means the tip is wear-resistant and your samples are not damaged

How does an AFM work — ICSPI

How does the nGauge AFM MEMS work? — ICSPI

 ICSPIICSPI develops and produces easy to use and affordable benchtop AFM instruments designed for the individual scientist and individual lab to capture 3D images at the nanoscale. Incorporating our AFM-on-a-Chip technology, our flagship instrument, the nGauge AFM provides researchers and scientists 3D scans at the nanoscale in about a minute in their own lab and on their own bench. ICSPI is headquartered in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.