Scanning Probe Microscopes (SPM)

The SPMs (Scanning Probe Microscopes) represent the basic instrumentations for Nanotechnologies.

The SPMs are particular types of microscopes that exploit physical variables in order to construct an image with very high magnification (resolution up to atomic resolution).

In these microscopy techniques a very sharp probe is positioned close to the sample surface (a few nanometers), and it runs scanning the surface and measuring the interaction between the probe and the sample at each point. The image obtained is the result of signals acquisition in xyz axis: these techniques provide an accurate real three-dimensional image of the sample surface (3D Topography).

It is possible to acquire different physical properties (electric, magnetic, optical, …) of the sample, obtaining different images of the sample, using different type of probe.

STM, AFM and SNOM represent different type of SPM Microscopes that are characterized by a different measuring probe.


AFM exploits atomic interaction forces between the tip and the sample surface to reconstruct the topography of the sample nanostructures


STM measures the tunnelling current between the tip and the sample surface to reveal the topography of the sample at atomic resolution


SNOM gathers the Near-Field Light (using a fiber optic probe) to give simultaneously topographical and optical images of the sample/p>


Key features:

  • High Versatility
  • Ease of Use
  • Easily interchangeable Samples
  • Automatic tip sample approach
  • Integrated Double optical system
  • Integrated acoustic and vibration damping system


Working Modes:


  • Contact Mode
  • Non Contact Mode
  • Semi-Contact Mode
  • Lateral Force Mode (LFM)
  • Phase Imaging
  • Force Modulation Mode (FMM)
  • Conductive Mode (C-AFM)
  • Elecrostatic Force Microscopy (EFM)
  • Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM)
  • Electro Chemical AFM (EC-AFM)
  • Pizo Force Microscopy
  • Force Spectroscopy
  • Nanolithography


  • Topography
  • Reflection
  • Back-Reflection
  • Transmission


Key Features:

  • Automatic Resolution
  • Low tunelling Currents(up to 500fa)
  • Working modes: Imaging at Constant Tunnel Current Imaging at Constant height, I-V Spectroscopy, etc.
Zeta 3D

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