Asylum Research

 

About
Us

 

 

Asylum Research
Contact Terry Mehr, Marketing Communications Manager, Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments Company, 6310 Hollister Avenue, Santa Barbara, CA 93117, 805-696-6466 x224,www.AsylumResearch.com, for additional information.

 


Press
Releases

  July 26, 2016   Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Launches a New Online Probe Store
for Purchasing Atomic Force Microscopy Probes
May 9, 2016   Oxford Instruments Asylum Research in conjunction with Materials Today presents the webinar: “More Than Just Roughness: AFM Techniques for Thin Film Analysis” on June 1, 2016 at 11:00am EDT.
April 27, 2016   Oxford Instruments Asylum Research and McGill University
Announce the McGill AFM Summer School and Workshop, May 12-13, 2016
April 8, 2016   Asylum Research & Univ. of Geneva Announce 5th Euro AFM Forum, June 22-24
Sept. 18, 2015   Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Announces the Cypher ES Polymer Edition, an Atomic Force Microscope Optimized for Polymer Research
Sept. 2, 2015   Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Cypher Atomic Force Microscopes Chosen By Leading Polymer Science Research and Engineering Laboratories
Aug. 28, 2015   Atomic Force Microscopes from Asylum Research Guide the Development of Thin Film Deposition and Etch Processes
Aug. 24, 2015   Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Announces New Sample Heating Capability for its Value-Priced MFP-3D Origin Atomic Force Microscope
July 23, 2015   New GetStarted™ Feature on Asylum Research AFMs Makes Imaging Easier and More Productive While Maintaining All the Benefits of Tapping Mode
May 5, 2015   Oxford Instruments Asylum Research in Conjunction with the MRS OnDemand® Webinar Series Presents: “Beyond Topography: New Advances in AFM Characterization of Polymers” May 28, 2015
Apr. 21, 2015   New Application Note Describes Nanomechanical Measurements on Diverse Materials Using the Asylum Research NanomechPro Toolkit
Apr. 1, 2015   Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Presents “Piezoresponse Force Microscopy: From Theory to Advanced Applications” Two-part Webinar Series May 4 and May 6, 2015
Jan. 20, 2015   Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Releases New Application Note: “AFM Applications in Polymer Science and Engineering”
Dec. 19, 2014   Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Announces AFM Image Contest Winners
Oct. 6, 2014   Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Hosts a Webinar October 21st: “There’s No Other AFM Like Cypher™: Recent Technological Advances”
Sept. 24, 2014   Oxford Instruments launches 3rd annual Indian nanotechnology seminars in Kolkata and Delhi - sharing expertise with Nanotechnology researchers in India
Aug. 26, 2014   Measure Both Elastic and Viscous Properties with AFM Using Asylum Research’s Exclusive AM-FM Viscoelastic Mapping Mode
Aug. 15, 2014   Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Receives the 2014 Microscopy Today Innovation Award for blueDrive Photothermal Excitation
August 4, 2014   Oxford Instruments Asylum Research and the Center for Nanoscale Systems at Harvard University Present a Workshop on AFM Nanomechanical and Nanoelectrical Characterization, Aug. 21-22
July 17, 2014   Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Opens an Atomic Force Microscopy Demonstration Lab in Mumbai, India
Apr. 16, 2014   Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Introduces the MFP-3D Infinity™ AFM Featuring Powerful New Capabilities and Stunning High Performance
Mar. 3, 2014   Got Images? Win an iPad with Your Best Asylum Research AFM Images
Feb. 20, 2014   Asylum Research Hosts a Webinar on March 20: “Atomic Force Microscopy Imaging and Nanomechanics with blueDrive™ Photothermal Excitation”
Jan. 15, 2014   Asylum Research Announces Scanning Microwave Impedance Microscopy for Nanoscale Mapping of Permittivity and Conductivity on Any Material
Jan. 2, 2014   Asylum Research Announces the 4th Euro AFM Forum at Georg-August Universität Göttingen, March 17-19, 2014
Nov. 7, 2013   Asylum Research Introduces blueDrive™ Photothermal Excitation For Atomic Force Microscopy Imaging and Nanomechanics
Sept. 12, 2013   Asylum Research Introduces Contact Resonance Viscoelastic Mapping Mode: Quantitative Nanomechanical Imaging of Both Elastic and Loss Moduli
Aug. 28, 2013   Asylum Research Introduces GetReal™ Automated Probe Calibration: The Best Way to Fully Calibrate AFM Probes
June 3, 2013   Asylum Research Hosts a New Webinar June 26:
“Contact Resonance Tools for AFM Nanomechanics”
May 24, 2013   Asylum Research Announces Ben Ohler as AFM Business Manager
May 8, 2013   Asylum Research Introduces the MFP-3D-Origin™ –
A High Performance, Affordable Atomic Force Microscope
Apr. 22, 2013   Asylum Research Hosts a New Webinar May 22:
“Getting Started with AFM in Biology – It's Easier Than You Think”
Mar. 18, 2013   Asylum Research Appoints Amir Moshar to West Coast US Technical Sales
Mar. 11, 2013   Asylum Research Announces the Hire of Scientist Florian Johann for Atomic Force Microscopy Applications in Germany/Continental Europe
Dec. 17, 2012   Oxford Instruments plc Acquires Asylum Research Corp.
July 16, 2012   Asylum Research Appoints ATSL – Advanced Technological Solutions Ltd., as its Exclusive Israeli Distributor
June 6, 2012   Asylum Research Appoints Spectra Research Corp. as its Exclusive Canadian Distributor
May 15, 2012   The Asylum Research Cypher™ AFM Featured in Course Instruction at the Marine Biological Laboratory Physiology Short Course, Summer 2012
May 4, 2012
 
Apr. 25, 2012
 
Feb. 16, 2012
  Asylum Research and the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign present the Advanced AFM Workshop, March 21-22
Jan. 30, 2012
 
Nov. 28, 2011
 
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Press
Releases

 

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Launches a New Online Probe Store for Purchasing Atomic Force Microscopy Probes

July 26, 2016 (Santa Barbara, CA) Oxford Instruments Asylum Research announces its new AFM Probe Store, which features a complete range of probes, a convenient interface to select and purchase probes, and interactive customer support: https://AFMprobes.AsylumResearch.com. The Probe Store is now open to all customers in North and South America, and Australia. The new, simple design makes it easy to obtain price quotations, search for probe models by various criteria (e.g. application, specifications, compatibility, imaging environment, sample types), and the flexibility to pay with a variety of options (credit card or purchase order). The new on-line chat feature allows direct access to experts that can instantly answer technical questions during normal business hours. Customers can also message the Asylum Research customer support staff outside of business hours and receive an answer with the fastest turn around time in the industry. Asylum’s AFM Probe Store is the first to offer customer reviews of probes so scientists can share valuable knowledge about their experiments.

The Asylum AFM Probe Store offers hundreds of different probes compatible with all AFMs, not just those from Asylum Research. Probe models include Asylum’s own line of probes and those manufactured by Olympus®, NanoWorld, Nanosensors™, Rocky Mountain Technology, SmartTip and PrimeNano. Detailed descriptions, specifications, an image of the probe, and a cross-reference to competitive probe models make it easy for customers to choose the right probe for any experiment. Customers also have instant visibility to in-stock probes and can receive free samples on select models.

As an incentive to visit the Probe Store, all customers placing online orders for Olympus and Asylum Research-manufactured probes receive a 10% discount now through Sept. 30, 2016.

“If you want to buy probes, the Asylum AFM Probe Store is the best place to purchase them,” said Teimour Maleki, Director of MEMS and Business Technology. “Although we have offered on-line purchasing since 2010, the new Probe Store provides a better customer buying experience with a more friendly and intuitive interface for probe selection, quotation, direct ordering, and of course, our world-renowned customer support services. We have a lot of exciting things coming soon so we encourage AFM users to bookmark the store for new offers, new probes and a whole lot more.”

Customers in China may purchase probes on line at http://www.51haocai.cn/gallery-35.html. Expanded service for AFM users in Europe and Japan will be coming later in 2016. Until then, please contact your local Asylum Research sales office or contact us at ProbeStore@AsylumResearch.com for assistance.

Visit: AFMprobes.asylumResearch.com


Oxford Instruments Asylum Research in Conjunction with Materials Today Presents the Webinar: “More Than Just Roughness: AFM Techniques for Thin Film Analysis

Current map of multiferroic film

May 9, 2016 (Santa Barbara, CA) Oxford Instruments Asylum Research in conjunction with Materials Today presents the webinar: “More Than Just Roughness: AFM Techniques for Thin Film Analysis” on June 1, 2016 at 11:00am EDT. This informative webinar is ideal for scientists in both academia and industry who are interested in learning about the latest AFM techniques for thin film characterization.

Distinguished presenters are Dr. Donna Hurley, founder of Lark Scientific and former NIST project leader, and Dr. Kumar Virwani, Staff Member at IBM Research, Almaden, CA.

Registration for the webinar can be found at: http://bit.ly/TFAFMWebinar2016

For questions and additional information, please contact Nushaw Ghofranian, Marketing Coordinator, 805-696-6466, nushaw.ghofranian@oxinst.com



Oxford Instruments Asylum Research and McGill University
Announce the McGill AFM Summer School and Workshop, May 12-13, 2016

April 27, 2016 (Santa Barbara, CA) McGill University Department of Physics and Oxford Instruments Asylum Research are pleased to announce the McGill AFM Summer School and Workshop, May 12-13, 2016. The Workshop focuses on nanoelectrical and nanomechanical characterization using atomic force microscopy (AFM) techniques. The agenda includes lectures by leading AFM researchers, equipment demonstrations, a poster session, and an information-rich question and answer period. Ideal for those with some AFM experience, attendees will ultimately come away with a better understanding of the “how-to’s” and “whys” of these techniques so they may incorporate them into their own research.

"We are excited to be partnering with Asylum Research for further educating our local AFM community on nano-mechanical and electrical characterization,” said Dr. Peter Grütter, Physics Dept. Chair. “Asylum has been at the forefront of AFM innovation and has unceasingly supported education for AFM users. This is a great opportunity for our invited speakers and Asylum experts to share their extensive knowledge of these techniques so our users can hone their AFM skills and better understand their results."

The McGill Summer School features lectures from these leading researchers: Dr. Emily Cranston, Assistant Professor, McMaster University; Dr. Peter Grütter, Chair, Dept. of Physics, McGill University; Donald McGillivray, Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of Waterloo; Jason Wang, Research Engineer, University of New Brunswick; Sophia Hohlbauch and Keith Jones, Applications Scientists, Asylum Research; Rob Cain, US Technical Sales Manager, Asylum Research.

A small registration fee of $50 includes all workshop expenses. All attendees are encouraged to bring a poster to the poster session.

Registration and full program can be found at: www.oxford-instruments.com/McGill-Workshop


Asylum Research & Univ. of Geneva Announce 5th Euro AFM Forum, June 22-24

April 8, 2016 (Santa Barbara, CA) -The Department of Quantum Matter Physics (DQMP) at the University of Geneva and Oxford Instruments Asylum Research are pleased to announce the 5th Euro AFM Forum to be held June 22-24 at the University of Geneva. If there is one atomic force microscopy (AFM) conference to attend this year, make it the Euro AFM Forum. Ideal for both novice and experienced AFM users, the Euro AFM Forum is an excellent opportunity for scientists to share their research results in both material and life science disciplines. It is the perfect venue for scientists to increase their understanding of AFM technology, and learn from other scientists that have successfully used AFM for innovative solutions in their research. The Forum consists of three days of lecture sessions by international keynote speakers, a poster session and image contest. The conference also features live equipment demonstration sessions where attendees can learn about new AFM technologies, “ask an expert,” and receive tips and tricks that will help them in their daily research.

“We are very excited that the Euro AFM Forum is coming to the DQMP, University of Geneva,” said Dr. Céline Lichtensteiger, senior researcher at the DQMP – Department of Quantum Matter Physics, University of Geneva. “The DQMP is a major center of Swiss research in the field of quantum matter physics, where materials with fascinating and often extreme properties are studied with avant-garde methods, both from the experimental and theoretical point of view. The University of Geneva is a cornerstone for AFM research. An important part of our mission is to pass along our knowledge to fellow scientists. With a large variety of state-of-the-art AFM systems being in constant use, our research represents a wide range of applications and materials that can be investigated with these powerful instruments. Partnering with Asylum Research further emphasizes our commitment to bring the highest level of AFM technology as well as their unprecedented knowledge and support to our AFM community.”

The Euro Forum lectures are tentatively scheduled to include talks by these invited speakers:

• Luca Costa, CBS, Centre Biochimie Structurale
• Neus Domingo, University of Barcelona
• Jamie Hobbs, University of Sheffield
• Thomas Gutsmann, Research Center Borstel - Leibniz-Center for Medicine and Biosciences
• Thorsten Hugel, University of Freiburg
• Milad Radiom, University of Geneva
• Florian Rehfeldt, University of Göttingen
• Iwan Schaap, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh
• Michal Wozniak, University of Warsaw
• Neil Wilson, University of Warwick
• Kislon Voitchovsky, Durham University
• Céline Lichtensteiger, University of Geneva
• Miklos Kellermayer, Semmelweis University
• Andras Kis, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Online submissions are now open for contributed talks and posters, the image contest, and early discounted registration at www.oxford-instruments.com/EuroForum.

Deadline dates are as follows:

Abstract submission, May 1; Early bird registration, May 15; Image contest submission, June 3.


Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Announces the Cypher ES Polymer Edition, an Atomic Force Microscope Optimized for Polymer Research

Cypher ES Polymer Edition AFM pictured with an image of syndiotactic polypropylene (sPP) and polystyrene (PS) that was imaged after heating to ~135° then allowed to cool. The round, isolated domains are PS and the continuous matrix around them is the sPP. Scan size 3 µm. Play the full movie at: http://www.oxford-instruments.com/polymer-movie

Sept. 18, 2015 – Due to the growing demands of polymer researchers who require fast, high resolution, and quantitative nanomechanical measurements, Oxford Instruments Asylum Research announces the Cypher™ ES Polymer Edition atomic force microscope (AFM). The new Cypher ES Polymer Edition AFM is optimized for polymer research offering highest resolution, fast scanning, heating, and the most comprehensive suite of nanomechanical characterization tools. The Cypher ES Polymer Edition is ideal for many polymer and material science applications such as imaging morphology and structure, measuring force and deformation, mapping nanomechanical and thermal properties, monitoring dynamic processes including solvent and thermal effects, and for probing electrical and functional behavior. For a limited time, special pricing and fast delivery is available for the Cypher ES Polymer Edition. Learn more at www.oxford-instruments.com/cypher-polymer-edition

“Asylum Research’s innovative nanomechanical scan modes and environmental capabilities have made it possible for us to address the specific demands of polymer scientists with our new Cypher ES Polymer Edition AFM system,” said John Green, Director of Sales. “Asylum Research is the only AFM manufacturer to offer high resolution and quantitative imaging of both the elastic and viscous response of materials. This is an essential capability for polymer scientists since virtually all polymers exhibit significant viscoelasticity. With the Cypher ES Polymer Edition AFM system, the polymer researcher now has many powerful tools within one system to operate efficiently, get quantitative data, and correlate results.”

The Cypher ES Polymer Edition includes three exclusive nanomechanical characterization techniques. Two AFM techniques, AM-FM and Contact Resonance Viscoelastic Mapping Modes, enable high resolution, quantitative mapping of both the elastic modulus and the viscous response (i.e. loss modulus or loss tangent). The third technique, Fast Force Mapping Mode, enables quantitative high-speed elastic modulus mapping. Unlike others, Asylum’s Fast Force Mapping Mode captures every force curve in the image, measures both deflection and the Z sensor signal, and supports both common indentation models like Hertz, Sneddon, and DMT along with more advanced models including JKR and Oliver-Pharr.

Additionally, the Cypher ES Polymer Edition offers the highest resolution fast scanning AFM with integrated environmental control. It includes a high temperature sample heater, which integrates seamlessly without extra cables, tubing or controllers, to enable hassle-free exploration of polymer phase transition phenomena at temperatures up to 250°C. Finally, it includes Asylum’s exclusive blueDrive™ photothermal excitation option, which makes tapping mode operation simpler, more stable, and more quantitative.

Researchers looking for educational material on AFM for polymer applications can find a wide range of application notes, webinars and real-world image examples from the website: www.oxford-instruments.com/afm-polymers.


Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Cypher Atomic Force Microscopes Chosen By Leading Polymer Science Research and Engineering Laboratories

Principal Investigator Dr. Ken Nakajima (left) and Research Associate Dr. Hung Kim Nguyen (right) from the Advanced Institute for Materials Research at Tohoku University with their new Asylum Research Cypher AFM.

September 2, 2015 - Oxford Instruments Asylum Research proudly announces that a Cypher™ atomic force microscope (AFM) was recently acquired by Dr. Ken Nakajima after a rigorous selection process. Dr. Nakajima is a Principal Investigator at Tohoku University and was recently appointed as a Professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology, where he is a leading materials scientist with numerous highly-cited publications utilizing AFM for the investigation of polymers. He joins a growing number of polymer scientists who have chosen the Cypher AFM for its exceptional performance and superior breadth of nanomechanical measurement techniques.

“Asylum’s Cypher is clearly the best choice for polymer research,” said Dr. Nakajima. “When I compared Cypher to the alternatives, it became very obvious that Asylum Research is far ahead of their competitors in pushing the limits of AFM performance and developing tools for nanomechanical measurements. My research increasingly requires methods for characterizing the viscoelastic response of polymers and the ability to apply more sophisticated contact mechanics models. Those capabilities just don’t exist on other AFMs, but Asylum’s Cypher offers many options, including AM-FM Viscoelastic Mapping Mode and a much more flexible and adaptable implementation of fast force curve mapping.”

Asylum Research has been at the forefront of innovation developing nanomechanical characterization techniques. AM-FM and Contact Resonance Viscoelastic Mapping Modes enable the quantitative mapping of both the elastic modulus and the viscous response (i.e. loss modulus or loss tangent). Asylum Research is the only AFM manufacturer to offer high resolution, quantitative imaging of the viscous response. This is an essential capability for polymer scientists since virtually all polymers exhibit significant viscoelasticity. Additionally, Fast Force Mapping Mode enables quantitative high-speed elastic modulus mapping. Unlike others, Asylum’s Fast Force Mapping Mode captures every force curve in the image, measures both deflection and the Z sensor signal, and supports both common indentation models like Hertz, Sneddon, and DMT along with more advanced models including JKR and Oliver-Pharr.

Asylum has recently introduced the Cypher ES Polymer Edition AFM, a special configuration optimized for polymer research. It offers the most comprehensive suite of nanomechanical characterization tools (AM-FM, Contact Resonance and Fast Force Mapping), for highest resolution, fast scanning AFM, and hassle-free environmental control to explore polymer phase transition phenomena at temperatures up to 250°C. It also includes Asylum’s exclusive blueDrive™ photothermal excitation option, which makes tapping mode operation simpler, more stable, and more quantitative. For a limited time, special pricing and fast delivery is available for the Cypher ES Polymer Edition.

Learn more at www.oxford-instruments.com/cypher-polymer-edition.


Atomic Force Microscopes from Asylum Research Guide the Development of Thin Film Deposition and Etch Processes

Topography image shown in 3D of crystalline domains in a non-planar phthalocyanine film grown on a highly ordered pyrolitic graphite substrate. Phthalocyanine is of interest for potential applications as an organic semiconductor, 25 µm scan. Image courtesy of Luke Rochford, University of Warwick.

August 28, 2015 - Thin films are ubiquitous in materials science and technology, with uses ranging from exotic next generation materials (e.g. ferroelectric data storage) to practical everyday items (e.g. food wrappers). The intrinsic dimensions of thin films (thickness, grain and domain sizes, etc.) and the strong dependence of performance on film properties demand tools with nanoscale resolution. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has long been used to measure thin film roughness and uniformity, and that remains one of the most common measurements made with AFM today. As materials become more complex, AFMs are also being used to characterize the functionality of thin films, including their mechanical, electrical, electro-mechanical, and magnetic properties. A new application note from Oxford Instruments Asylum Research titled “AFM Characterization of Thin Films: High Resolution Topography and Functional Properties” describes the many ways that Asylum Research AFMs are being used in this field and highlights several real-world examples where the AFM contributes directly actionable information that can help guide research and development of thin film materials.

“AFM measurements of thin films have become so common over the last twenty years that many people have begun to think of them as routine tasks within the capability of any old AFM,” said Dr. Ben Ohler, Director of Marketing at Oxford Instruments Asylum Research. “This mindset overlooks the reality that many thin films are shrinking in dimensions and growing more sophisticated in functionality. Film roughness can now be within the noise floor of first-generation AFMs. Film morphology is often inadequate to predict performance, which might depend more strongly on nanoelectrical or nanomechanical properties. Asylum Research AFMs offer higher performance and advanced imaging modes to provide more comprehensive information about these materials. Our AFMs today are also dramatically simpler to use and more productive than the AFMs you more commonly find in film deposition and etch facilities.”

To download the application note and get additional information, please visit our website at:
www.oxford-instruments.com/thin-films


New GetStarted™ Feature on Asylum Research AFMs Makes Imaging Easier and More Productive While Maintaining All the Benefits of Tapping Mode

MDMO-PPV:PCBM polymer/fullerene solar cell. Phase data overlaid onto topography, 2 µm scan. Image courtesy of P. Cox, M. Glaz, S. Vorpahl, D. Ginger, University of Washington.

July 23, 2015 – Researchers sometimes struggle to get good images using atomic force microscopy (AFM) because of the complexity of optimizing imaging parameters. The new GetStarted™ feature on Oxford Instruments Asylum Research AFMs eliminates this challenge, making AFM operation much simpler and more productive. GetStarted guides users through initial setup and then automatically calculates optimal imaging parameters before the AFM even starts scanning. This ensures that you get high quality data from the first scan line and avoids the likelihood of tip and sample damage that can occur while optimizing parameters, whether manually or using one of the several auto-optimization features released in recent years. Notably, while some AFM companies have abandoned tapping mode in pursuit of ease of use, GetStarted uses conventional tapping mode and does not require special probes. Tapping mode is by far the most widely used AFM imaging mode. It remains the gold standard because it is extremely gentle, enables high speed imaging when combined with small cantilevers, and is the basis of many other modes that go beyond topography to measure nanoelectrical and nanomechanical properties of the sample.

“GetStarted will help all users of Asylum AFMs, from novices to pros, get great results,” said Nicholas Geisse, Product Line Manager for the MFP-3D AFM family. “Until now, the prevailing opinion was that tapping mode was too complex to automate, but we saw that tapping mode offers too many unique advantages to abandon it. Our scientists discovered universal principles that can guide the selection of optimal imaging parameters including free amplitude, setpoint, scan rate and gains. Using that knowledge, we found that we can consistently get excellent imaging from the very first scan lines. There’s no waiting for optimization and the settings will not drift as an algorithm continuously searches for slightly better parameters. GetStarted delivers simple operation without compromising high performance, just as you would expect from an Asylum Research AFM.”

GetStarted is included with all new Asylum Research MFP-3D Infinity and Cypher family AFMs. It is also available as a no-cost upgrade to all current owners of these AFMs. Additional information, including a video of GetStarted in action, may be found on our website at: www.oxford-instruments.com/GetStarted


Oxford Instruments Asylum Research in Conjunction with the MRS OnDemand® Webinar Series Presents: “Beyond Topography: New Advances in AFM Characterization of Polymers” May 28, 2015

polymer-blend
Figure caption: The bulk properties of polymer blends are determined by the amount, distribution, and properties of their components. This sample is a blend of natural rubber, polybutadiene rubber, and zinc oxide. The elastic response distinguishes all three materials, but the zinc oxide inclusions (circles) stand out more clearly by their much lower loss tangent, 5 μm scan. Images courtesy of Dr. Anna Kepas-Suwara, Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre, UK.

May 5, 2015 - Oxford Instruments Asylum Research in conjunction with the Materials Research Society (MRS) will host the webinar “Beyond Topography: New Advances in AFM Characterization of Polymers”, May 28, 2015 at 11:00am ET. Presenters include Dr. Donna Hurley, founder of Lark Scientific and former NIST project leader, and Anna Kepas-Suwara, Sr. Materials Scientist, of Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre (TARRC). This webinar will provide an overview of the AFM’s powerful capabilities for polymers characterization and will cover AFM methods for fast topographic imaging, even in liquids and at high temperatures; recent advances in viscoelastic measurements; nanomechanical mapping of rubber blends, and AFM techniques to probe electrical and functional behavior.

“Whether investigating fundamental research principles or engineering a specific product, AFM is a important tool for evaluating polymers and polymer blends,” said Ben Ohler, Director of Marketing at Asylum Research. “Though a great deal can still be learned from basic topographic and phase imaging with AFM, recent advances in technology have led to significant advances in characterizing nanoscale mechanical properties (storage modulus and loss tangent), operating in controlled environments (e.g. temperature control or solvents), and high speed imaging of dynamic processes. This webinar will be educational for scientists in academia and industry who want to learn more about the latest applications of AFM to polymer science.”

Registration for the webinar can be found here.


New Application Note Describes Nanomechanical Measurements on Diverse Materials Using the Asylum Research NanomechPro Toolkit

April 21, 2015 - Oxford Instruments Asylum Research has released a new application note, “The NanomechPro™ Toolkit: Nanomechanical AFM Techniques for Diverse Materials,” written Dr. Donna Hurley, founder of Lark Scientific and former NIST project leader. The last several years have seen a surge in the development and use of techniques that enable the measurement of mechanical properties at the nanoscale. Asylum Research has been at the forefront of this activity, collaborating with outside researchers to improve existing techniques and develop new ones. The NanomechPro Toolkit is a collection of unique techniques that spans the largest modulus range, and includes techniques that measure both the elastic and viscous response, and leverages the high speed advantage of the Asylum Research Cypher AFM to make these quantitative measurements much faster than ever before possible. The application note describes the science behind each technique, advantages and disadvantages, and gives real-world examples.

“AFM nanomechanical characterization unfortunately does not have a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution,” said Dr. Hurley. “The various techniques each offer unique advantages and cover some portion of the total range of properties that researchers need to explore. The tools that comprise the NanomechPro Toolkit both span this range and together provide complementary information.”

Dr. Marta Kocun, Asylum Research post-doctoral researcher, added, “I’ve enjoyed a unique opportunity to push these nanomechanical techniques to their limits and help improve them. I find myself always reaching for different tools in the NanomechPro toolkit depending on the specifics of my sample and what I’m trying to learn about it. I could never go back to when I was restricted to just phase imaging and force mapping.”

As described in the application note, the NanomechPro Toolkit consists of both standard imaging modes that are included with every Asylum Research AFM as well as several optional techniques. The standard modes include force curves and force volume mapping, phase imaging, Bimodal Dual AC Imaging, and Loss Tangent Imaging. The optional modes include Fast Force Mapping Mode, instrumented vertical nanoindentation, force modulation imaging, AM-FM Viscoelastic Mapping Mode, and Contact Resonance Viscoelastic Mapping Mode.

The new application note can be found here.


Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Presents “Piezoresponse Force Microscopy: From Theory to Advanced Applications” Two-part Webinar Series May 4 and May 6, 2015

Figure caption: Single Frequency PFM scan of PZT made at 20 Hz with a Pt coated AC240 Electrilever. The piezoresponse amplitude was overlaid (color) on top of the rendered topography. Domains are visible as regions of nearly constant amplitude, 7.5 µm scan. Imaged with the Cypher™ AFM.

April 1, 2015 – Oxford Instruments Asylum Research will host a two-part webinar series on Piezoresponse Force Microscopy (PFM), May 4 and May 6, 2015. Presenters include Dr. Sergei V. Kalinin, Director at the Institute for Functional Imaging of Materials and Theme Leader at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Asylum Research President and co-founder, Dr. Roger Proksch. The first part of the webinar will be perfect for researchers who are either entirely new to PFM or who perhaps just haven’t heard about the full spectrum of existing PFM capabilities. The second part of the series will focus on new advanced capabilities and applications examples available via CNMS user program and Asylum.

“Introduction to PFM” broadcasts May 4 and will cover the basic theory of PFM and electromechanical coupling, limitations of conventional PFM methodologies, and advances in instrumentation to overcome these limitations including switching spectroscopy PFM, Dual AC™ Resonance Tracking (DART) PFM, and band excitation measurements.

The May 6th webinar will follow-up with discussions on “Advanced PFM Techniques”. Kalinin and Proksch will cover the recent progress in techniques such as Band Excitation (measuring a more complete frequency response), multidimensional PFM spectroscopy, and Electrochemical Strain Microscopy. Challenges and progress in obtaining accurate d33 measurements will also be discussed.

“PFM has become the technique of choice for researchers that wish to characterize the functionality of piezoelectric, ferroelectric, and multiferroic materials at the nanoscale,” said Sergei Kalinin. “The recent application of PFM techniques to energy storage and conversion materials has been a beautiful synergy for both application areas.”

“Roger Proksch added, “This webinar will be an excellent resource for scientists that want to learn more about basic PFM and for those that want to delve into the advanced theory and techniques. We have learned a tremendous amount about the science of PFM through our collaboration with the global leaders in the field and are excited to share some of these results through our webinar.”

Registration for “Introduction to PFM”, May 4, 2015
9:00am PDT session
5:00pm PDT session

Registration for “Advanced PFM Techniques”, May 6, 2015
9:00am PDT session
5:00pm PDT session

All registrants will receive a free PFM poster.


Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Releases New Application Note: “AFM Applications in Polymer Science and Engineering”

Asylum Research AFMs can characterize a wide variety of polymer properties, including morphology (top-left), modulus (top-right), thermal conductivity (bottom-right), and melt-recrystallization behavior (bottom-left). See the application note for full details.

January 20, 2015 - Oxford Instruments Asylum Research has released a new application note, “AFM Applications in Polymer Science and Engineering,” written by former NIST researcher Dr. Donna Hurley. Polymer scientists were among the first group to enthusiastically embrace AFM when it was introduced 25 years ago. This application note reviews how recent advances in next-generation AFMs from Asylum Research including the MFP-3D Infinity™ and the Cypher™ ES have enabled scientists to learn even more about polymeric materials. These include new modes to characterize mechanical, electrical, functional and thermal properties as well as the ability the visualize dynamics driven by chemical and thermal stimuli.

“We welcome Dr. Hurley’s outstanding review of polymer applications in AFM,” said Roger Proksch, President of Asylum Research. “Polymer science is an excellent example of a field where important progress has been driven by new advances in AFM instrumentation. We hope this article provides inspiration to polymer scientists and helps them find solutions to their research and engineering challenges.”

The new application note can be found at:
http://www.oxford-instruments.com/AFMpolymerscience

 


Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Announces AFM Image Contest Winners

Grand Prize Winning Image: Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM) phase data overlaid on topography of cobalt nanoribbons composed of half-circles with 800 nm radius connected by straight sections of length 800 nm (top) and 1600 nm (bottom). The sample is in the "onion" state with head-to-head (blue) and tail-to-tail (red) domain walls that have been created by the application and removal of a uniaxial in-plane magnetic field using the Variable Field Module (VFM) on a MFP-3D AFM. Scan size 10 µm x 20 µm. Image courtesy of Jessica Bickel and Kathy Aidala, Mount Holyoke College.

Dec. 19, 2014 - Oxford Instruments Asylum Research is pleased to announce the winners of its AFM Image Contest. Congratulations to the Grand Prize winners Jessica Bickel and Kathy Aidala of Mount Holyoke College for their image submission of magnetic force microscopy of cobalt nanoribbons. All winning images can be viewed here.

“It was very difficult picking a winner,” said Roger Proksch, President of Asylum Research. “We were overwhelmed with outstanding submissions. The winning contributions demonstrated great science, exceptional AFM technique, and that special “wow factor.” We are very proud of the ground-breaking research that continually comes from Asylum customers and would like to congratulate all the winners.”

Finalists:
Luke Rochford, University of Warwick; Ahmad Eshghinejad and Jiangyu Li, University of Washington; Feng Bi and Giriraj Jnawali, Levy Group, University of Pittsburgh; Andrew Stack, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Jacquelyn Bracco, Wright State University.

Runners-up:
Tamás Bozó, Semmelweis University, Hungary; Rhiannon Creasey, Yoshitaka Shingaya, and Tomonobu Nakayama, National Institute for Materials Science, Tsukuba, Japan; Amin Vakhshouri, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan; Fengyuan Zhang, South China Normal University; Wojciech Chrznanowski and Sally Kim, University of Sydney, Australia; Dayong Chen, University of Massachusetts-Amherst; Vijay Raghunathan, Paul Russell, Christopher Murphy, University of California Davis; Itamar Balla, Soo Kim and Professor Mark Hersam, Northwestern University; Suhas Somnath, Hoe Joon Kim, Huan Hu, William P. King, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.


Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Hosts a Webinar October 21st: “There’s No Other AFM Like Cypher™: Recent Technological Advances”

October 6, 2014 - Oxford Instruments Asylum Research, the technology leader in Atomic Force Microscopy, will host a free webinar October 21st, “There’s No Other AFM Like Cypher: Recent Technological Advances.” The Cypher AFM has proven to be an exceptional platform for the development of new capabilities and an incredibly productive instrument that has helped generate stunning new AFM data. Asylum scientists Drs. Roger Proksch and Mario Viani will introduce you to the latest advances that set the Cypher apart from any other AFM.

“Cypher was a huge leap forward in AFM technology in 2008, but one of the great things about AFM is that the technology is still rapidly advancing. Our tremendously talented scientists have taken full advantage of Cypher, not just defending our technology leadership, but actually propelling us even farther ahead,” explained Dr. Proksch, president and co-founder of Asylum Research. “We’ve spent our lives not just developing but also using AFMs. We understand the challenges that researchers face with this technology,” added Dr. Viani, Cypher Project Manager. “I can say with no hesitation that Cypher is unlike any other AFM out there. It’s simply a pleasure to use. It routinely lets us do things that we wouldn’t have even thought to try before.”

The webinar will focus on advances made over the last year. These include blueDrive™ photothermal excitation, a new tapping mode drive mechanism with huge performance benefits. We will also discuss AM-FM Viscoelastic Mapping mode which combines all of the advantages of tapping mode with the ability to measure storage modulus and loss tangent. We will also talk about how new features like GetReal™ and GetStarted™ are helping our users, new and old, get results easier and faster. We’ll include lots of exciting new data to help explain these advances, including a special emphasis on results from our Cypher ES Environmental AFM. Users can register for two sessions, 8:00-9:00am PST or 5:00-6:00pm PST, at http://www.asylumresearch.com/Webinars/index.shtml


Oxford Instruments launches 3rd annual Indian nanotechnology seminars in Kolkata and Delhi - sharing expertise with Nanotechnology researchers in India

Oxford Instruments is hosting its third series of annual seminars for the nanotechnology industry in India in November. ‘Bringing the Nanoworld Together 2014’ seminars are being held in Kolkata (November 24-25th) and Delhi (November 27-28th) and will showcase cutting edge nanotechnology tools and their use in multiple fields.

The first day at each venue will comprise Plenary Sessions focusing on ‘Emerging Materials for Nanoscale Devices - Fabrication & Characterisation’. Day 2 will focus on thin film processing, materials characterisation, surface science and cryogenic environments. A wide range of topics will be covered within each technical area. This will also present an excellent opportunity for networking between all participants, including guest speakers from prestigious Indian and international institutes, speakers from the host institutes, and technical experts from Oxford Instruments.

The thin film processing sessions will review the latest etch and deposition technological advances, including: ALD, Magnetron Sputtering, ICP PECVD, Nanoscale Etch, MEMS, MBE and more. The materials characterisation, surface science and cryogenic environment sessions will cover multiple topics and technologies including: ultra high vacuum SPM, Cryofree low temperature solutions, XPS/ESCA, an introduction to atomic force microscopy (AFM), and applications such as nanomechanics, in-situ heating and tensile characterisation using EBSD, measuring layer thicknesses and compositions using EDS, and nanomanipulation and fabrication within the SEM / FIB. Andor Technology, a recently acquired business, will also be showcasing its high performance optical cameras and software which are used in both the physical and bio sciences.

Previous host Prof. Rudra Pratap, Chairperson at the Centre for Nano Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, IISC Bangalore commented, “This seminar has been extremely well organised with competent speakers covering a variety of processes and tools for nanofabrication. It is great to have practitioners in these areas give talks and provide tips and solutions based on their experience - something that cannot be found in text books.”

Mark Sefton of Oxford Instruments Nanotechnology Tools commented, “We are demonstrating our commitment to our customers through providing these learning events, encouraging discussion and cross dissemination of ideas that is of benefit to all those attending. Not only do we provide high technology tools and excellent global service, but we want our customers to be empowered to use these systems to the best of their abilities, with the maximum information possible behind them.”

This seminar is free to attend but prior booking is essential.
For more information or to book a place: www.oxford-instruments.com/btnt

For further information and electronic copies of the images please contact:
Susie Williams
Marketing Communications Manager
Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology
Email: susie.williams@oxinst.com
Tel: +44 (0)1934 837000
Fax: +44 (0)1934 837001

Astik Jukar
Marketing Manager
Oxford Instruments India Pvt. Ltd.
Email: astik.jukar@oxinst.com
Tel: +91 22 4253 5100


Measure Both Elastic and Viscous Properties with AFM Using Asylum Research’s Exclusive AM-FM Viscoelastic Mapping Mode

AM-FM Mode images for a polystyrene-polycaprolactone (PS-PCL) polymer film on mica: elastic storage modulus (a and c), viscoelastic loss tangent (b), and indentation depth (d). Scan sizes 5 μm (a and b) and 1.5 μm (c and d). Storage modulus is higher in PS regions (light brown) than PCL regions (dark brown), while PCL regions exhibit higher loss tangent than PS. Images acquired on a Cypher S with bluedrive photothermal excitation.

Aug. 26, 2014 - Oxford Instruments Asylum Research announces the availability of its powerful new nanomechanical imaging technique, AM-FM Viscoelastic Mapping Mode, for its entire line of Cypher™ and MFP-3D™ atomic force microscopes (AFMs). AM-FM Viscoelastic Mapping Mode lets you quickly and gently image viscoelastic properties including storage modulus and loss tangent with nanoscale spatial resolution. The imaging mode is ideal for quantitative nanomechanical measurements on materials such as polymers, composites, biomaterials, ceramics, and metals.

“AM-FM Viscoelastic Mapping Mode is arguably the most powerful nanomechanical technique in Asylum’s NanomechPro™ Toolkit because it can measure both the elastic storage modulus and the viscous loss modulus or loss tangent over an extremely wide range of materials,” said Roger Proksch, President of Oxford Instruments Asylum Research. “AM-FM combines the features and benefits of normal tapping mode (AM) with quantitative, high sensitivity Frequency Modulation mode (FM). Because it’s based on normal tapping mode, it is simple and stable to operate, gentle enough for the softest samples and provides amazing high resolution images. It is also compatible with small cantilevers for fast scanning and reduced noise.”

AM-FM Mode gets results by operating at two cantilever resonances simultaneously. The first resonance is used for tapping mode imaging, also known as amplitude modulation (AM), while a higher resonance mode is operated in frequency modulation (FM). At resonance, the cantilever frequency and phase respond sensitively to changes in sample properties (i.e. stiffness, adhesion, loss tangent, etc.).

Small frequency and phase shifts can be measured with very high precision and accuracy, reducing uncertainty and increasing sensitivity. AM-FM offers quick visualization of relative contrast of sample components, and provides quantitative estimates of mechanical properties with Asylum’s built-in or customizable mechanical models. Its very wide operating range, from less than 1 MPa to hundreds of GPa, makes it a highly versatile and high resolution technique.

AM-FM Viscoelastic Mapping is just one of the many techniques that are available in Asylum’s NanomechPro™ toolkit. Additional information on AM-FM Viscoelastic Mapping can be found at www.AsylumResearch.com/AMFM. To receive a quotation, email us at sales@AsylumResearch.com


Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Receives the 2014 Microscopy Today Innovation Award for blueDrive Photothermal Excitation

Aug. 15, 2014 – Oxford Instruments Asylum Research, the technology leader in Atomic Force Microscopy, has received the prestigious 2014 Microscopy Today Innovation Award for the development of blueDrive™ Photothermal Excitation. blueDrive, an option available exclusively for Asylum’s Cypher™ Atomic Force Microscopes (AFMs), makes tapping mode imaging remarkably simple, incredibly stable, and strikingly accurate. It replaces the conventional piezoacoustic excitation mechanism of the AFM cantilever by using a blue laser to directly excite the cantilever photothermally. This results in an ideal cantilever drive response in both air and liquids, which provides significant performance and ease of use benefits for tapping mode imaging.

“We are proud to be honored with the 2014 Microscopy Today Innovation Award,” said Aleks Labuda, Asylum Research R&D Scientist and lead blueDrive developer. “We continually hear from our customers that blueDrive has made tapping mode imaging, the most widely used scan mode in AFM, easier and more stable. It is very exciting to have this new product recognized as a significant AFM innovation by the microscopy industry.”

Added Roger Proksch, President of Asylum Research, “We are thrilled to have received this award from Microscopy Today, a publication of the Microscopy Society of America. We are committed to making innovative products like blueDrive that give our users unmatched performance and reliable results, all while making the instrument a pleasure to use every time they sit down to make a measurement. Asylum’s mission, now and since the beginning, is to make the best AFMs on the planet. This award affirms that we are still on that path.”


Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Opens an Atomic Force Microscopy Demonstration Lab in Mumbai, India

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research announces the opening of its first Nanotechnology Lab for Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) in India. The new lab is located at the Oxford Instruments India headquarters in Mumbai and adds to the range of industrial analysis tools available for demonstration. The AFM lab is staffed by a dedicated business manager, Manju Kumar, and AFM applications scientist, Kishore Kumar. Oxford Instruments is committed to offering its customers high quality products and services that meet their high standards. This lab is an initiative to meet this commitment and provide the same high standard of service to Indian researchers.

Asylum Research is known for their technology leadership in AFM, ranging from the affordable MFP-3D Origin AFM to the most advanced Cypher ES, the highest resolution fast scanning AFM that also features full environmental control. Leading research laboratories around the world choose Asylum Research AFMs for applications ranging from materials research to bioscience because of their high performance, versatility, and unmatched customer support. The goal of the new AFM lab in India is to help researchers choose the best AFM for their research and then provide them with exceptional customer support from the knowledgeable local sales and applications team.

The AFM Lab in India is equipped with the MFP-3D™ Classic and the MFP-3D Origin™ for demonstration. The MFP-3D Origin, the most affordable member, offers high performance equal to the MFP-3D Classic and an impressive selection of options and operating modes. It also offers full upgrade potential. The MFP-3D Classic offers maximum versatility with the widest range of accessories for nanomechanical and nanoelectrical characterization and powerful environmental control capabilities.


Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Introduces the MFP-3D Infinity™ AFM Featuring Powerful New Capabilities and Stunning High Performance

April 16, 2014 – Oxford Instruments Asylum Research announces the new MFP-3D Infinity Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). The MFP-3D Infinity is the new flagship of the Asylum Research MFP-3D™ AFM family with dramatic performance improvements, new nanomechanical measurement capabilities, and new features that make it simple to get started with tapping mode imaging. Whether you are doing routine imaging tasks or ambitious research projects, the MFP-3D Infinity is ideal for an endless variety of applications with unlimited potential for your research.

“The MFP-3D Infinity has evolved extensively from the original MFP-3D that pioneered closed loop scanning and low noise AFM measurements,” commented Dan Bocek, Project Manager. “The development team used their superior knowledge of AFM physics and technology to accomplish truly remarkable performance improvements. We reduced the XY sensor noise by 70% and slashed the Z sensor noise by more than 85%. Overall system height noise is now only 20pm, a third of what it was on the original MFP-3D. The practical benefit is that our customers can now achieve higher resolution while still enjoying the unmatched versatility of the MFP-3D family. No other AFM beats this combination of performance and flexibility.”

Jason Bemis, Manager, High-level Software, added, “We’ve also introduced new software features that showcase the potential of this new hardware and enhance the capability and greatly improve the ease of use of the new Infinity AFM. Our new Fast Force Curve Mapping mode enables the high speed capture and analysis of force-distance curves. We’ve also developed a new feature called GetStarted™ that does exactly what it says. It helps users get high quality tapping mode images from the very start.”

Polystyrene (E’~3GPa) - polycaprolactone (E’~350MPa) blend imaged with Fast Force Mapping. Elastic modulus is shown on 3D topography, 4µm scan.

The MFP-3D Infinity features a large 90µm stage and entirely new control electronics that are located close to the AFM for fast, low noise performance. Flexible signal switching and programmable logic enable future expansion options. The new head and scanner offer greatly improved sensor noise (<35pm in Z and <150pm in X&Y) and higher bandwidth for improved force control and faster imaging. Top and bottom view optics provide a large field of view and diffraction-limited resolution for pinpointing features on your sample.

GetStarted greatly increases AFM productivity. It is an intuitive new feature that automatically sets tapping mode imaging parameters such as setpoint, gain, and scan rate based on your sample roughness and cantilever calibration. Unlike iterative optimization schemes, GetStarted uses a robust predictive algorithm so that accurate data is produced from the very first scan line without the potential of tip and sample damage that is common with other optimization routines that assist with scanning.

The new Fast Force Mapping mode brings Asylum’s market leadership and expertise in force spectroscopy to fast force-distance curves measurements. Operating at up to 300Hz pixel rate, it captures every force curve in the image without missing curves or performing hidden data manipulation. Realtime and offline analysis models calculate modulus, adhesion and other properties, and are user-accessible. Part of the NanomechPro™ Toolkit, Fast Force Mapping is a technique complementary to AM-FM Viscoelastic Mapping mode and Contact Resonance Viscoelastic Mapping Mode.

The MFP-3D Infinity remains compatible with the full range of MFP-3D accessories. No other AFM in the world supports such a wide range of innovative accessories, both practical and unique, for temperature and environmental control, controlled gas or liquid environments and for experiments using external driving forces – ideal for busy multi-user facilities.

Additional information on the MFP-3D Infinity and its entire range of new capabilities, scan techniques, and accessories can be found at www.AsylumResearch.com/Infinity. To receive a quotation, email us at sales@AsylumResearch.com


Got Images? Win an iPad with Your Best Asylum Research AFM Images

Carbon nanotubes and bundles emerging from a line of catalyst particles. 5µm scan courtesy of Scott MacLaren, Senior Research Scientist, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

March 3, 2014 - Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments company, invites all Cypher™ and MFP-3D™ AFM users to enter their best AFM data, including images, force curves, or videos, in the Asylum Research Image Contest. Each scientist will receive an Asylum gift pack just for sending in their images. An Apple iPad will be awarded at the close of each quarter to the winning image that best represents excellence in science and the "cool" factor as judged by our team of applications scientists. Select entries will also be featured in the Asylum Research website gallery.

“Our customers do amazing work with our AFMs and we’d like to help share the incredible results,” said Ben Ohler, Director of Marketing. “We invite all of our users to send in their most unique, impressive, and captivating images, and that includes any data on force measurements and videos.”

Researchers may submit as many images as they want and every image will be considered for the quarterly grand prize. Details and the online submission form can be found at www.AsylumResearch.com/ImageContest. All winners of the quarterly iPad prize will be notified by email. The first quarterly prize will be announced June 1.

 


Asylum Research Hosts a Webinar on March 20:
“Atomic Force Microscopy Imaging and Nanomechanics with blueDrive™ Photothermal Excitation”

AM-FM Viscoelastic Modulus Mapping of a polystyrene / polycaprolactone polymer thin film on mica. Image was taken using blueDrive photothermal excitation on a Cypher S AFM at 2Hz line scan rate and 5µm scan size.

February 20, 2014 – Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments company, will host a new webinar on March 20, “AFM Imaging and Nanomechanics with blueDrive Photothermal Excitation”. blueDrive is a new option available on the Asylum Research Cypher AFM that reinvents tapping mode imaging for remarkably simple, incredibly stable, and strikingly accurate operation.

“This webinar will be an excellent resource for AFM scientists wanting to learn more about the science behind this great new technique – it really makes everyday tapping AFM imaging easier and more quantitative,” said Dr. Aleks Labuda, Asylum Research Applications Scientist. “For those that want to brush up on cantilever oscillation theory, this will also be an excellent educational opportunity to learn more and ask questions.”

The webinar will discuss the benefits and challenges of tapping mode, cantilever response and piezo drive theory, the advantages of using blueDrive for cantilever excitation, implementation, and real-world examples for materials and life science applications. The webinar is ideal for all current AFM users, both novice and advanced, and those wanting to learn the physics and science behind this powerful new technique.

Two one-hour webinar sessions will be held that includes a question and answer period after each.
Registration for the 8:00am session is at: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/405218014
Registration for the 4:00pm session is at: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/752737982


Asylum Research Announces Scanning Microwave Impedance Microscopy for Nanoscale Mapping of Permittivity and Conductivity on Any Material

Proprietary shielded AFM probes localize the sMIM measurement to the tip, reducing stray capacitance and thereby increasing resolution and reducing artifacts. The inset image is a dC/dV amplitude image of an SRAM device where the contrast is proportional to dopant concentration.

January 15, 2014 - Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments company, announces Scanning Microwave Impedance Microscopy (sMIM), an atomic force microscopy (AFM) technique that enables nanoscale mapping of permittivity and conductivity with unprecedented sensitivity and resolution on any material including conductors, semiconductors and insulators. sMIM is the latest tool in Asylum’s “Beyond Topography” initiative which seeks to provide valuable nanomechanical and nanoelectrical information in addition to high resolution AFM topography. sMIM incorporates electronics and proprietary AFM probe technology developed by PrimeNano Inc. and is available integrated exclusively with Asylum Research MFP-3D™ and Cypher™ AFMs.

Nanoelectrical AFM modes have long been used in microelectronics R&D applications because they can provide valuable insight into device structure, function and failure. However, most conventional modes have been limited to measuring either resistance or capacitance and have required laborious sample preparation. sMIM is a dramatic improvement on these technologies because it senses sample variations in both conductivity (resistance) and permittivity (capacitance) while requiring only minimal sample preparation. These capabilities also make sMIM applicable to a broader range of samples, including ferroelectrics, piezoelectrics, and low-dimensional nanomaterials like graphene, boron nitride, and molybdenum disulphide.

“sMIM is the biggest advance in AFM nanoelectrical measurements that I’ve seen in my 12+ years working in this field,” said Keith Jones, Applications Scientist at Asylum Research. “Being able to visualize both conductivity and permittivity at the same time gives us a more complete picture of our samples. The sensitivity and resolution of the measurements is also way beyond the competitive technologies I have used throughout my career.”

“PrimeNano developed ScanWave™ sMIM based on core technology developed by Professor Zhi-xun Shen at Stanford University. A combination of exclusive shielded AFM probes and purpose-built electronics optimized for sMIM enable us to get results that are far superior to anything else out there,” explained Dr. Stuart Friedman, CEO of PrimeNano, Inc. “We are very pleased to partner with Asylum Research to offer an integrated sMIM solution. The capability of sMIM is even greater when combined with the world’s very best atomic force microscopes.”

For more information, email us at sales@asylumresearch.com for a quotation.


Asylum Research Announces the 4th Euro AFM Forum at Georg-August Universität Göttingen, March 17-19, 2014

Jan. 2, 2014 - Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments company, in conjunction with Georg-August Universität Göttingen, announces the 4nd Euro AFM Forum to be held March 17-19, 2014. The Euro AFM Forum is organized as a venue where researchers can share and exchange cutting-edge AFM research in both material and life science disciplines. The conference offers attendees three days of lecture sessions by international keynote speakers, lectures selected by the conference committee, a poster session and image contest. The Forum also features live equipment demonstration sessions where attendees can learn about new AFM technologies, “ask an expert,” and receive tips and tricks. Demonstrated techniques will include high resolution and fast scanning AFM; blueDrive™ photothermal excitation and imaging in fluid; cell imaging / cell mechanics / force measurements; nanoscale viscoelastic measurements; electrical characterization; and piezoresponse force microscopy. The Euro AFM Forum is recommended for both experienced AFM users as well as for those scientists who wish to learn more about how AFM can contribute to their research

“We are very excited to hold our 4th Euro AFM Forum at Georg-August Universität whereby leading researchers may share their research with their colleagues,” said Ludger Weisser, Director of European sales, Asylum Research, Germany. “Asylum’s mission is to provide scientific solutions, not just instruments, and the Euro AFM Forum is a cornerstone for our relationships with researchers and an important part of our mission to share our knowledge with the AFM community.”

The Euro Forum lectures will include talks by these invited speakers:

• Andrei Kholkin, University of Aveiro

• Wouter Roos, VU University Amsterdam

• Josef Käs, Leipzig University

• Toshio Ando, Kanazawa University

• Fernando Moreno-Herrero, Centro Nacional de Biotecnologia, Madrid

• Arnaud Caron, Leibniz Institute for New Materials, Saarbrücken

• Jason Cleveland, Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments company, Santa Barbara

Online submissions are now open for contributed talks and posters, the image contest, and early discounted registration at www.AsylumResearch.com/EuroForum. Abstract submission closes March 1, 2014.


Asylum Research Introduces blueDrive™ Photothermal Excitation For Atomic Force Microscopy Imaging and Nanomechanics

blueDrive photothermal excitation produces ideal drive responses in both air and liquid. Here, the response of a small, high-frequency cantilever was measured using blueDrive. In both air and liquid, the blueDrive response almost perfectly matches the expected simple harmonic oscillator response.

November 7, 2013 - Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments company, announces blueDrive photothermal excitation, an option available exclusively for Asylum’s Cypher™ Atomic Force Microscopes (AFMs). blueDrive makes tapping mode imaging remarkably simple, incredibly stable, and strikingly accurate. blueDrive replaces the conventional piezoacoustic excitation mechanism, instead using a blue laser to directly excite the AFM cantilever photothermally. This results in an ideal cantilever drive response in both air and liquids, which provides significant performance and ease of use benefits for tapping mode imaging.

“Tapping mode is by far the dominant choice in the world of AFM due to its performance and versatility. blueDrive reinvents tapping mode AFM imaging, making it simpler, more stable and more quantitative,” said Ben Ohler, Director of Marketing at Asylum Research. “These benefits extend across the entire range of tapping mode measurements, from topographical imaging in air and liquids to quantitative nanomechanical mapping of viscoelastic properties.”

“The cantilever response in tapping mode provides a remarkably sensitive and rich measure of both conservative and dissipative tip-sample interactions,“ explained Jason Cleveland, CEO and co-founder of Asylum Research. “This same depth of information can’t be obtained by force mapping techniques. So rather than abandoning tapping mode, as others have, at Asylum we developed blueDrive to make tapping mode imaging easier and more stable. blueDrive also enhances many of the tools in our NanomechPro™ toolkit, like loss tangent imaging and AM-FM and Contact Resonance Viscoelastic Mapping Modes, making them more robust and more accurate.”

Photothermal cantilever excitation was first used in the early 1990’s to achieve the clean, linear drive response demanded by then newly developed frequency-modulation (FM) imaging techniques. Since those early days, AFM manufacturers have begun to recognize more and more that the drive response in all AC mode or tapping mode techniques suffers from limitations of piezoacoustic excitation. Various attempts at so-called “direct-drive” piezoacoustic and magnetic actuation (such as iDrive™) have been put forth as solutions. Lately, some have called for replacing tapping mode outright. Asylum Research recognized the potential for photothermal excitation to dramatically improve tapping mode imaging. The flexible, modular optical path in the Cypher AFM made it practical to offer this capability commercially for the first time.

blueDrive is available exclusively on the Asylum Research Cypher S and Cypher ES AFMs and is compatible with the full range of tapping mode techniques in air and liquid including topographic imaging, phase imaging, electric force microscopy (EFM), Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM, or surface potential imaging), magnetic force microscopy (MFM), and AM-FM and Contact Resonance Viscoelastic Mapping modes. blueDrive makes tapping mode setup exceptionally easy. It works together with the Cypher SpotOn™ click-to-align laser feature and its ideal drive response eliminates cantilever tune uncertainty. It is also completely safe for temperature sensitive samples, with adjustable laser power to ensure the optimal drive power for probes in air and liquid.

For more information email us for a quotation.


Asylum Research Introduces Contact Resonance Viscoelastic Mapping Mode: Quantitative Nanomechanical Imaging of Both Elastic and Loss Moduli

PZTSept. 12, 2013 – Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments company, announces Contact Resonance Viscoelastic Mapping Mode, an option available exclusively for Asylum’s Cypher™ and MFP-3D™ Atomic Force Microscopes (AFMs). Contact Resonance (CR) enables high resolution, quantitative imaging of both elastic storage modulus and viscoelastic loss modulus. The technique is particularly well suited for characterizing moderate to high modulus materials in the range of about 1GPa to 200GPA for materials such as composites, thin films, biomaterials, polymer blends, and even ceramics and metals. Exclusive Asylum hardware and software developments have made contact resonance imaging significantly faster, more quantitative, simpler to use, and applicable to a wider range of materials.

“Contact resonance techniques were first developed in the 90s, though until now, only as lab-built implementations. Asylum Research recognized the potential of this technology and focused our resources to provide this capability to our customers,” said Ben Ohler, AFM Business Manager at Asylum Research. “With help from industry-leading collaborators, we dramatically improved its speed, ease of use, and quantitative capabilities. The result of that work is Contact Resonance Viscoelastic Mapping Mode, the very first commercial offering of this technology.”

“An important feature of contact resonance imaging is that it characterizes the full viscoelastic response of materials,“ noted Roger Proksch, President and co-founder of Asylum Research. “Some other nanomechanical imaging techniques only measure the elastic modulus of materials and have no capability to measure the loss modulus. However, both the elastic and dissipative response is critical to the performance of many modern materials.Contact Resonance Viscoelastic Mapping Mode provides a more complete picture which should enable more accurate and more useful insights into how nanomechanical properties influence real-world applications of these materials.”

A number of exclusive Asylum Research technologies enable the superior performance of Contact Resonance Viscoelastic Mapping Mode. Highly damped cantilever and sample actuators were developed for both the MFP-3D and Cypher AFMs to provide exceptionally clean, wideband excitation that makes operation far more robust and accurate. Dual AC™ Resonance Tracking (DART) and Band Excitation electronics make it possible to rapidly measure both the contact resonance frequency and quality factor, providing measures of both the elastic and viscous responses at higher speeds. Finally, exclusive software enables users to select the most appropriate analysis models and easily guides them through the steps required to calibrate the technique. The contact resonance packages are available for both new MFP-3D and Cypher S AFM systems and as upgrades to existing systems.

Contact Resonance Viscoelastic Mapping Mode is just one tool in the Asylum Research NanomechPro™ Toolkit, which includes many techniques for characterizing material properties at the nanoscale. Asylum believes that there’s not just one, best, “one-size-fits-all” approach to nanomechanics. Comparing the results from multiple techniques adds considerable confidence to the measurements and can provide new additional information.

For more information email us for a quotation.


Asylum Research Introduces GetReal™ Automated Probe Calibration:
The Best Way to Fully Calibrate AFM Probes

 

 

August 28, 2013 – Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments company, announces the release of the new GetReal™ Automated Probe Calibration feature. With just one click, GetReal fully calibrates the atomic force microscope (AFM) probe sensitivity and spring constant, enabling more consistent, more accurate results. GetReal also protects the probe from damage that often occurs with conventional calibration methods, preserving the sharpest tip for the highest resolution imaging. Eliminating hassle and risk from the calibration process makes GetReal the obvious best choice. GetReal is included at no extra charge exclusively with Asylum Research
MFP-3D™ and Cypher™ family AFMs. It is also available as a free software upgrade to most of our existing AFM customers.

“There’s a lot of emphasis on accurate, quantitative results in the AFM community, but we found that many users are skipping an essential calibration step – they either don’t calibrate the probe at all, and express the cantilever deflection in Volts, or they rely on notoriously inaccurate nominal values,” explained Ben Ohler, AFM Business Manager at Asylum Research. “GetReal provides a competitive edge to our customers, enabling them to simply, and accurately calibrate their probes every time they use their AFM, ensuring higher quality data.”

“Asylum Research pioneered the field of AFM-based force measurements and was the first to provide a commercial solution for accurately calibrating AFM cantilever spring constants,“ noted Jason Cleveland, CEO of Asylum Research. “GetReal builds on that legacy and reinforces Asylum’s position as the technology leader in AFM. It is based on years of expertise and technical developments by Asylum scientists in the field of AFM cantilever calibration.”

GetReal is based on two well-established spring constant calibration techniques, the thermal noise method and the Sader method. Though typically used independently to calibrate only the cantilever spring constant, Asylum Research co-founders and scientists Proksch and Cleveland, along with collaborators, recognized that the two methods could be used together to solve for both the cantilever sensitivity and spring constant (see M.J. Higgins, R. Proksch, J.E. Sader, M. Polcik, S. McEndoo, J.P. Cleveland, and S.P. Jarvis, Rev. Sci. Instrum., 77, 013701, 2006). GetReal is a highly automated implementation of this approach, requiring only that the user specify the probe model name and click one button to start the calibration. With no further intervention, the probe is fully calibrated and ready to use. It’s not only the simplest way to get calibrated, but it also helps protect sharp AFM tips from damage. Conventional methods require the cantilever sensitivity to be calibrated by pressing the tip against a hard surface. This can easily break the tip, reducing imaging resolution and compromising data integrity. GetReal is a completely non-contact, “no-touch” method that is inherently safe for the tip. These advantages come together with state-of-the-art accuracy, comparable to conventional methods.

For a real time demonstration, see the video at www.AsylumResearch.com/VideoTutorials.


Asylum Research Hosts a New Webinar June 26: “Contact Resonance Tools for AFM Nanomechanics”

Contact Resonance

Modulus map of plant cell walls acquired on Asylum Research Cypher™ AFM. Sample provided by Dr. Bryon Donohoe (NREL). Image courtesy of Dr. Jason Killgore (NIST).

June 3, 2013 – Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments company, will host a new webinar on June 26, 2013, “Contact Resonance Tools for AFM Nanomechanics”. Dr. Donna Hurley, Project Leader at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Asylum Research President and co-founder, Dr. Roger Proksch, will be presenting and taking questions. The webinar is focused on materials scientists looking to probe nanomechanical properties and measuring moduli in the 1 to 200 GPa range for materials such as composites, thin films, biomaterials and polymer blends.

“Nanoscale information on mechanical properties is critical for many advanced materials and nanotechnology applications,“ commented Hurley. “While there are a large number of techniques for more compliant samples, few techniques are capable of measuring moduli in the 1 to 200 GPa range. Contact resonance is an excellent technique for sensitive, quantitative measurements for these materials. This webinar will be an excellent education for researchers wanting to learn more about the technique.”

The webinar will cover the basic concepts of contact resonance measurements with different approaches including point spectroscopy, qualitative contrast imaging, and quantitative mapping. Discussion will also include practical implementation of contact resonance to a variety of samples and some of the pitfalls and artifacts that may be encountered. Finally, results will be presented on how CR methods have been used to improve the understanding of systems such as composites, thin films, biomaterials, and polymer blends.

Registration for the 8:00am session is at https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/387749262.
Registration for the 4:00pm session is at https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/247844302.


Asylum Research Announces Ben Ohler as AFM Business Manager

May 24, 2013 - Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments company, announces the appointment of Dr. Ben Ohler to the new position of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) Business Manager. Ohler will oversee the Asylum MFP-3D family of products as well as manage the strategic direction, new product development, and product marketing for the entire line.

“We are very excited that Ben has joined the Asylum Research team,” commented Roger Proksch, President of Asylum Research. “Ben brings with him numerous years of AFM and product line management experience which will enable and accelerate our continuing growth. Ben also has an excellent applications background, so he understands the needs of researchers. He can take this knowledge and translate it to new product development that will allow us to continue our technological leadership while also expanding into new and emerging markets. I might add, he has hit the ground running and with only a few months at Asylum, Ben has successfully led the launch of our new MFP-3D Origin™ AFM.”

“I’m thrilled to be with Asylum Research,” added Ohler. “It’s fantastic to be a part of a team so utterly committed and passionate about producing the highest performance and highest quality AFMs and providing a truly unequalled standard of customer support. I’m looking forward to contributing to our continued growth.”

Before joining Asylum, Dr. Ohler held the position of Product Line Manager within the AFM group of Bruker (previously Veeco) for five years and Applications and Development Scientist for eight years. He received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California Santa Barbara where his research focused on the biophysics of neurodegenerative disorders. He has numerous peer-reviewed publications and is a co-author on five patents in the field of AFM.


Asylum Research Introduces the MFP-3D Origin™ –
A High Performance, Affordable Atomic Force Microscope

originMay 8, 2013 (Santa Barbara, CA)  Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments company, announces the new MFP-3D Origin Atomic Force Microscope (AFM).  The MFP-3D Origin is at the intersection of performance and affordability in the Asylum Research MFP-3D™ AFM family. The MFP-3D Origin features the technical excellence, innovation, and world-class customer support that is the trademark of every Asylum AFM. With full upgrade potential to the MFP-3D and its complete range of accessories, the MFP-3D Origin is the best place to start with atomic force microscopy.

“We are very excited that we can now bring the high performance capabilities of the MFP-3D to a larger group of researchers,” commented Ben Ohler, AFM Business Manager. “Since not all customers require its most advanced accessories and features, we were able to reduce costs there instead of sacrificing core performance. This is in stark contrast to some competitors who have taken old technology and repackaged it as entry-level AFMs with lower performance. We have heard many times over that ‘if I had the funds, I would buy an Asylum’. The MFP-3D Origin allows limited research budgets to be focused on what’s most important – leading closed-loop resolution and performance, robust reliability, and of course, the unmatched customer support you get when you become an Asylum customer.”

The performance and modern features of the MFP-3D Origin surpass all competitors in its class. It is based on the technology-leading MFP-3D AFM, known for closed-loop precision, high-resolution imaging, and low-noise force measurements. The MFP-3D Origin offers far more than just the basic scan modes. It includes many advanced modes–nanolithography, Dual AC™ Mode, and piezoresponse force microscopy– at no extra charge. Additional advanced functionality is easy to add for optional modes such as conductive AFM, AM-FM Viscoelastic Mapping for nanomechanical analysis, scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM), and scanning thermal microscopy (SThM).

As your research grows, so can the MFP-3D Origin’s capabilities. The MFP-3D Origin can easily be upgraded to the full MFP-3D to take advantage of the numerous environmental and advanced application accessories. In addition, the MFP-3D Origin carries a full two year warranty – the best warranty in its class. It’s a smart investment in a proven AFM platform that will serve you well for years to come.

For additional information or a quotation on the MFP-3D Origin, please contact Asylum Research at sales@asylumresearch.com, or see our website.


Asylum Research Hosts a New Webinar May 22:
“Getting Started with AFM in Biology – It's Easier Than You Think”

Consecutive up and down scans of a single DNA molecule in buffer taken with a 30µm lever at an amplitude of about 8Å. Asylum routinely achieves this resolution. We’ll show you how you can too.

April 22, 2013 - Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments company, will host a new webinar on May 22 – “Getting Started with AFM in Biology – It’s Easier Than You Think”. Asylum Applications Scientist Dr. Irène Revenko, who has over 19 years of teaching and training AFM in biology, will be presenting and taking questions. The webinar is ideal for biologists that are new to AFM or for AFM experts starting to study biology.

The webinar will cover topics that are critical for successful AFM imaging including sample preparation, choosing the correct cantilever, imaging in fluids and choosing the correct measurement mode. These will be presented in the context of four case studies of typical biological samples:

  1. Imaging DNA in liquid – including routine helix resolution
  2. Imaging living cells in liquid
  3. Measuring Young’s modulus of living cells
  4. Unfolding forces in Titin

“There are some basic principles that help ensure successful AFM in biology,” said Dr. Revenko. “While biological samples can be complex, this webinar will show how complexity can be managed with extremely useful tips, tricks and techniques to make AFM in biology easier. Ultimately, the goal of the webinar is to give researchers the confidence to repeat these experiments and then extend them to fit their own research.”

Registration for the 8:00am session is at https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/702661318.

Registration for the 4:00pm session is at https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/707007462.

Attendance will be limited, so early registration is recommended.


Asylum Research Appoints Amir Moshar to West Coast US Technical Sales

March 18, 2013 - As part of its ongoing expansion, Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments company, has appointed Amir Moshar for West Coast US Technical Sales. Amir has been with Asylum for over nine years, holding various technical positions. He began as a test engineer, then continued to lead AFM technical support in the UK for two years. Upon return to the US and until now, Amir has served as an applications scientist, gaining unique insights into customer support and user needs. He has been instrumental in new applications development, user training and running customer demonstrations. Amir received his MS degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

“We are very excited to welcome Amir to our technical sales group,” said John Green, Senior Vice President of Sales for Asylum Research. “He perfectly matches the background of our team members –numerous years of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) experience and scientific applications background. His broad experience working with scientists from the applications side and his extensive knowledge of the instrumentation will make him a great resource for customers looking for straightforward answers in AFM.

Asylum Research, the technology leader in atomic force microscopy, has global sales and service, including offices in Germany, UK, and Taiwan. Its product line of scanning probe/atomic force microscopes including the Cypher™ and MFP-3D™ AFM family, has set the industry standard for technological innovation for both imaging and characterizing many properties of surfaces and structures at the nanoscale. Its AFM/SPMs are used by academic and industrial customers across the world for a wide range of materials and bioscience applications.


Asylum Research Announces the Hire of Scientist Florian Johann for Atomic Force Microscopy Applications in Germany/Continental Europe

March 11, 2013 - As part of its ongoing expansion, Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments company, is pleased to introduce Florian Johann as its newest Applications Scientist. Johann will be based in the Mannheim, Germany office and will support customers throughout Germany and continental Europe.

“We are very excited about adding Florian Johann to the outstanding list of talented Applications Scientists at Asylum in general and specifically here at our office in Germany,” said Ludger Weisser, Director of European Sales for Asylum Research Germany. “His AFM background in materials science will complement the research that is being done on next-generation materials by leading labs throughout Germany and Europe. Florian will also enable us to expand the personalized applications support that we offer to all of our customers."

"Our goal is to expand our scientific staff in the region to provide the best, most comprehensive customer service, support and accessibility to our customers," commented Roger Proksch, President of Asylum Research. "Florian will enable us to continue to build our strong partnerships in the region, with great science being the ultimate result."

Asylum Research, the technology leader in atomic force microscopy, has a worldwide presence with subsidiaries in the Germany, UK, and Taiwan. Its product line of scanning probe/atomic force microscopes, including the Cypher™ and MFP-3D™ AFM family, has set the industry standard for technological innovation for both imaging and characterizing many properties of surfaces and structures at the nanoscale. Its AFM/SPMs are used by academic and industrial customers across the world for a wide range of materials and bioscience applications.


Oxford Instruments plc Acquires Asylum Research Corp.

December 17, 2012 - Asylum Research, the technology leader in scanning probe/atomic force microscopy, announces that it has been acquired by Oxford Instruments plc ("Oxford Instruments"), a leading provider of high technology tools and systems for industry and research. The acquisition is subject to customary conditions of the London Stock Exchange and is expected to be completed before the end of December 2012.

Asylum Research is an established US company based in Santa Barbara, California, with subsidiaries in the UK, Germany and Taiwan. Its SPM technology is used to image and characterise the properties of surfaces and structures down to the atomic scale providing invaluable information to enable development and exploitation at the nanoscale. Its products are used by academic and industrial customers across the world for a wide range of materials and bioscience applications. The combination of Oxford Instruments and Asylum Research strengthens the Group's Nanotechnology Tools sector. SPM is a fundamental nanotechnology measurement technique and complements the existing portfolio of products and technologies within the Group.

"We are very excited about joining Oxford Instruments," commented Dick Clark, co-founder and Chief Financial Officer. "The synergies between our companies are extensive and we're looking forward to joining this elite company that has proven leadership in the scientific instrumentation business."

Commenting on the acquisition, Jonathan Flint, Chief Executive of Oxford Instruments, stated, "the acquisition of Asylum Research significantly increases our footprint in the nanotechnology space and complements our strong position in electron microscopes with a presence in another fundamental nanotechnology measurement technique. The acquisition also gives us access to the rapidly growing bio-nano market as it allows customers to perform analysis of organic samples in their natural liquid environments, something which cannot readily be done using electron microscopes."

Added Roger Proksch, President of Asylum Research, "it was clear from the beginning of our talks that Asylum Research and Oxford Instruments both share the same core values while providing world class customer support and service, and making the most technologically-advanced instruments. We are looking forward to joining their team and getting the best AFMs to scientists faster and with even more capabilities."

"I would like to thank all our customers, employees and business associates for getting us to this point in our company history," said Jason Cleveland, Chief Executive Officer of Asylum Research. "Our passion for science has always been at Asylum's forefront. Partnering with Oxford Instruments will allow us to do an even better job at bringing instrumentation to scientists for discoveries that will ultimately lead to amazing innovations.”

Asylum Research, founded in 1999 as an employee-owned company in Santa Barbara, California, has a worldwide presence with subsidiaries in the UK, Germany and Taiwan. Its product line of scanning probe/atomic force microscopes, including the Cypher™ and MFP-3D™ AFM family, has set the industry standard for technological innovation for both imaging and characterizing many properties of surfaces and structures at the nanoscale. Its AFM/SPMs are used by academic and industrial customers across the world for a wide range of materials and bioscience applications.

A conference call for analysts and investors will be held at 08.30 (UK time) today to discuss this statement.

Participant Access Details:
Toll Number +44 203 139 4830
Toll-Free Number 0808 237 0030
Participant PIN Code 81210256#

Notes to Editors

About Asylum Research
Asylum Research is the technology leader in atomic force and scanning probe microscopy (AFM/SPM) for both materials and bioscience applications. Founded in 1999 and dedicated to innovative instrumentation for nanoscience and nanotechnology, Asylum Research has over 250 years combined AFM/SPM experience among our staff. Asylum Research AFMs are used for a variety of nanoscience applications in material science, physics, polymers, chemistry, biomaterials, and bioscience, including single molecule mechanical experiments on DNA, protein unfolding and polymer elasticity, as well as force measurements for biomaterials, chemical sensing, polymers, colloidal forces, adhesion, and more. Asylum’s MFP-3D™ has set the standard for AFM technology, with unprecedented precision and flexibility. The MFP-3D is the first AFM with true independent piezo positioning in all three axes, combined with low noise closed-loop feedback sensor technology. The MFP-3D offers both top and bottom sample viewing and easy integration with most commercially-available inverted optical microscopes. The Cypher AFM is the highest resolution fast scanning AFM, now with environmental control.

Cypher provides low-drift closed loop atomic resolution for the most accurate images and measurements possible today, point defect atomic resolution, >20X faster AC imaging with small cantilevers, Spot-On™ automated laser and photodetector alignment for easy setup, integrated thermal, acoustic and vibration control, and broad support for all major AFM/SPM scanning modes and capabilities.

Asylum Research offers the lowest cost of ownership of any AFM company with the industry-best five-year warranty, legendary product and applications support, and exclusive six-month money-back satisfaction guarantee. Asylum Research is dedicated to providing the most technically advanced AFMs for researchers who want to take their experiments to the next level.

About Oxford Instruments plc
Oxford Instruments designs, supplies and supports high-technology tools and systems with a focus on research and industrial applications. It provides solutions needed to advance fundamental physics research and its transfer into commercial nanotechnology applications. Innovation has been the driving force behind Oxford Instruments' growth and success for over 50 years, and its strategy is to effect the successful commercialisation of these ideas by bringing them to market in a timely and customer-focused fashion.

The first technology business to be spun out from Oxford University over fifty years ago, Oxford Instruments is now a global company with over 2000 staff worldwide and is listed on the FTSE250 index of the London Stock Exchange (OXIG). Its objective is to be the leading provider of new generation tools and systems for the research and industrial sectors.

This involves the combination of core technologies in areas such as low temperature, high magnetic field and ultra high vacuum environments, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, X-ray, electron and optical based metrology, and advanced growth, deposition and etching. Oxford Instruments aims to pursue responsible development and deeper understanding of our world through science and technology. Its products, expertise, and ideas address global issues such as energy, environment, security and health.

For further information please contact:

Oxford Instruments Plc +44 (0)1865 393200
Jonathan Flint, Chief Executive
Kevin Boyd, Group Finance Director

Asylum Research 805-696-6466
Dick Clark, Chief Financial Officer
Jason Cleveland, Chief Executive Officer
Roger Proksch, President
Terry Mehr, Director of Marketing


Asylum Research Appoints ATSL – Advanced Technological Solutions Ltd., as its Exclusive Israeli Distributor

July 16, 2012 - As part of its ongoing expansion, Asylum Research, the technology leader in scanning probe and atomic force microscopy (SPM/AFM), announced today that it has appointed ATSL, Advanced Technological Solutions Ltd., as its exclusive distributor in Israel. ATSL managers have served nanotechnology and surface science markets in Israel for over 11 years and offer sales, service and technical support across the country. ATSL can be contacted at +972-54-7766639 or via email: gila@atsl.co.il.

“We are very excited about adding ATSL to our family of world-wide distributors,” said John Green, Executive Vice President of Sales for Asylum Research. “Their extensive experience in scientific equipment sales to academic, industrial and government markets, for both materials and life science, will be a great asset to Asylum Research and our ability to help prospective customers make informed decisions."

Gil Amzalag, Co-CEO of ATSL, added, “We are very pleased to be working with Asylum Research in Israel. Asylum has a great reputation for innovative AFM technology, and a legacy of customer satisfaction that is unmatched in the industry. This addition is a good fit with our focus on Israeli markets that include nanotech, surface science and materials characterization. ”

ATSL, co-founded by Gil Amzalag and Rony Shteinberg, is a dynamic agencies company which represents companies that have advanced technology and unique products, and deliver added values to their Israeli customers which include Israeli academy science faculties, industry (high tech, pharma, biotechnology, defense), governmental institutions, hospitals, and others.


Asylum Research Appoints Spectra Research Corp. as its Exclusive Canadian Distributor

June 6, 2012 - As part of its ongoing expansion, Asylum Research, the technology leader in scanning probe and atomic force microscopy (SPM/AFM), announced today that it has appointed Spectra Research Corporation (SRC) as its exclusive distributor in Canada. SRC has served nanotechnology and surface science markets in Canada since 1993. They offer sales, service and technical support across the country. SRC can be contacted at 905-890-0555, or via their website: www.spectraresearch.com.

“We are very excited about adding Spectra Research to our family of world-wide distributors,” said John Green, Executive Vice President of Sales for Asylum Research. “Their extensive experience in AFM, materials and life science, and scientific instrumentation, will be a great asset to Asylum Research and our ability to help prospective customers make informed decisions."

Paul Greenwood, President of SRC, added, “We are very pleased to be working with Asylum Research in Canada. Asylum has a great reputation for innovative AFM technology, and a legacy of customer satisfaction that is unmatched in the industry. This addition is a good fit with our focus on Canadian markets that include nanotech, surface science and materials characterization”.

Spectra Research is a subsidiary of Allan Crawford Associates (ACA), one of Canada's largest distributors of electronic components, test equipment, and integrated networking solutions, with headquarters in Ontario, Canada.


The Asylum Research Cypher™ AFM Featured in Course Instruction at the Marine Biological Laboratory Physiology Short Course, Summer 2012

Asylum Research, the technology leader in scanning probe and atomic force microscopy (SPM/AFM) will provide both educators and equipment for the Marine Biological Laboratory Physiology Course being held at Woods Hole, MA June 9 through July 29. The Cypher™ Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), the world's highest resolution and fastest AFM, will be on-site for instruction and hands-on research, including investigation of microtubules, severing proteins that form clusters on microtubules, dyneins, formins binding to microtubules, and catalyzing actin polymerization. These techniques will be demonstrated on the surface and in vitro. For researchers not enrolled in the course, the Cypher AFM will be available for individual demonstrations when not being used for class.

“We are looking forward to using the Cypher AFM for the course,” said Christoph Schmidt, Professor of Physics Georg-August-Universität and class instructor. "We are also extremely pleased that Asylum Research scientists and co-founders will be giving lectures and assisting the students throughout the course. Their AFM expertise in biology and physics is unsurpassed and will be invaluable to all of the students."

Jason Cleveland, CEO of Asylum Research, noted, "We are very excited about participating in the very prestigious MBL Course. It's been something we've wanted to do for a long time and we're really looking forward to this collaboration with Dr. Schmidt." Additional information on the MBL Physiology Course can be found at: http://www.mbl.edu/education/courses/summer/course_physio.html. Researchers not attending the course can schedule an individual demo by contacting sales@asylumresearch.com.


Monteith G. Heaton: 1952-2012

It is with great sadness that that we pass on the news that we lost Monte, Asylum's EVP of Marketing, on Friday afternoon, May 4th. He died of an unexpected heart attack while returning from one of his regular lunch-time basketball games. He had just turned 60 in March. Monte had been at Asylum since 2008. He will be sorely missed by all.


Asylum Research Kicks Off New Nanomechanics Webinar Series May 23: “Opportunities, Challenges, and Frontiers of Nanomechanical Measurements with AFM”

April 26, 2012 - Asylum Research, the technology leader in scanning probe and atomic force microscopy (SPM/AFM), will present Part 1 of three nanomechanics webinars on May 23. This first webinar, entitled “Introduction and Innovations in High Speed Quantitative Nanomechanical Imaging,” will begin with a survey of the mechanical properties that can be investigated with the wide array of available nanoscale property mapping techniques. We will then introduce two new techniques that allow unambiguous interpretation of material nanomechanical properties: AM-FM and Loss Tangent. Amplitude-modulated (AM) atomic force microscopy, also known as tapping mode, is a proven, reliable and gentle imaging method with wide spread applications. Previously, the contrast in tapping mode has been difficult to quantify. The new AM-FM imaging technique combines the features and benefits of normal tapping mode with the quantitative, high sensitivity of Frequency Modulation (FM) mode. Loss Tangent imaging is another recently introduced quantitative technique that recasts the interpretation of phase imaging into one term that includes both the dissipated and stored energy of the tip sample interaction. These techniques allow high speed, low force imaging in tapping mode while providing quantitative Elasticity and Loss Tangent images. Registration details can be found here.

Said presenter and Asylum Research President Dr. Roger Proksch, “Nanoscale mechanical properties cover a breathtaking range of values. For example, the elastic modulus of common materials can range well over five or six orders of magnitude. The same can be said of the loss modulus of materials, with metal, glasses, and ceramics with low dissipation often behaving like ideal elastic solids, while many elastomers behave almost like liquids. A single nanomechanical technique – such as a force curve – is simply insufficient for accurately revealing sample properties and can often yield misleading and even inaccurate conclusions. Put simply, if all you have is a hammer, then all of your problems start to look like nails. During the course of this webinar series we will be looking at the wide range of techniques available to the researcher to cover the wide range of properties with which nature challenges us. A primary goal of this seminar series is to provide researchers with a solid overview of nanomechanical measurements, enabling them to critically interpret these measurements, and to provide a solid foundation for their future research.”

(a) AM-FM image (b) Loss Tangent image and (c) AM-FM histogram and (d) Loss Tangent histogram of a cryotomed latex/epoxy/rubber gum polymer sandwich.  The AM-FM stiffness map clearly resolves the small elastic difference between the latex and rubber gum.  The Loss Tangent difference is even more distinct.

Asylum Research and the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign present the Advanced AFM Workshop, March 21-22

February 16, 2012 - Asylum Research, the technology leader in scanning probe and atomic force microscopy (SPM/AFM) and the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory (FSMRL) at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign (UIUC), announce The Advanced AFM Workshop on March 21-22, 2012. The workshop will combine instructional lectures and tutorial instrument demonstrations, as well as tips, tricks and new techniques in Atomic Force Microscopy. Topics will include electrical characterization (conductive AFM, SKPM, EFM), Piezoresponse Force Microscopy (PFM), multifrequency techniques, new scanning techniques for nanomechanical characterization, and a tutorial on IGOR Pro software. UIUC researchers will also present current research on PFM, quantitative nanotube measurements, as well as combined AFM and Raman spectroscopy. In addition to UIUC personnel, the workshop is also open to all other researchers that want to learn more about these advanced AFM scanning techniques.

Jason Cleveland, CEO of Asylum Research, noted, "There are over 200 AFM researchers and students using our instruments at UIUC’s FSMRL. This is an excellent opportunity for us to educate, train, and pass along our knowledge to both established and up and coming researchers as part of our continuing commitment to support the scientists of tomorrow. Exciting research is coming out of many departments at UIUC and we're very pleased that Asylum AFMs have been an important part of their scientific discoveries."

William L. Wilson, Principal Scientist and Director of Central Facilities of the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, notes, “As nanofabrication and nanoscale engineering move to the mainstream, the need for a wide array of analytical tools is apparent. Scanning probe microscopies like AFM which were once considered exotic research systems have become workhorse tools. It is extremely important that our user base continue to be conversant with the industry’s newest techniques and technologies. This workshop will provide a unique opportunity for researchers of all disciplines to learn how these techniques can transform their research.”

Added Scott MacLaren, Director of AFM Operations for the MRL, “We are very pleased to be hosting the Advanced AFM Workshop with Asylum.  This is an exceptional opportunity to learn from the experts about advanced AFM techniques.  Our goal is to make this workshop as practical and beneficial as possible for all our researchers."

A small registration fee of $40 will be charged for the workshop for lunches and breaks for both days. Attendees must register at http://mrl.illinois.edu/AFM2012/. Additional information and can be found at http://www.AsylumResearch.com/Events/UIUC2012/.


Bacteriorhodopsin imaged with the Cypher AFM in AC mode using a short cantilever. In the original AFM image (top) missing sub-units are easily resolved (white circle) and its power spectrum shows spots outside of the 10 Angstrom circle, demonstrating sub-nanometer resolution. The lower right image is a correlation average of the original image.

Asylum Research Initiates 2012 Webinar Series February 22: “Smaller and Quieter: Ultra-high Resolution AFM Imaging”

January 30, 2012 - Asylum Research, the technology leader in scanning probe/atomic force microscopy (SPM/AFM), is initiating its 2012 Webinar Series on February 22. The first webinar will focus on ultra-high resolution imaging. AFM pioneer, inventor and Asylum Research co-founder, Dr. Jason Cleveland, will present “Smaller and Quieter: Ultra-high Resolution AFM Imaging.”

Miniaturization of cantilevers for Atomic Force Microscopy has increased their resonant frequencies and decreased their thermal noise, allowing faster, lower noise measurements. When used in the extremely low noise Cypher™ AFM, these levers have enabled significant improvements in imaging resolution in air and especially in liquids. On crystals, individual atomic point defects can now be routinely resolved, and this higher resolution also extends to biological samples. Examples to be shown include the movement of individual point defects in bacteriorhodopsin, atomic point defects in calcite, and resolution of the double-helix structure of DNA in solution.

“Recent advances in cantilever and AFM system design have enabled imaging and measurements that were previously not possible. I’ll talk about these advances and show some of our latest achievements and capabilities, which I think will be of substantial interest to the full spectrum of AFM users, from beginners to the most experienced,” said Dr. Cleveland.

To register, please go to www3.gotomeeting.com/register/982536366. Attendance will be limited, so early registration is recommended.

Additional Asylum Research webinars in the coming months will include topics such as fast imaging and nanomechanical analysis tools. Details can be found at the www.AsylumResearch.com.


Asylum Research Offers AFM in Biology Class January 25-27, 2012

November 29, 2011 - Asylum Research, the technology leader in scanning probe/atomic force microscopy (AFM/SPM) announces its Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) in Biology Class will be held January 25-27, 2012 in Santa Barbara, California. The class is open to all AFM users that want to increase their knowledge of AFM in biology and life sciences. This world-renowned class, now in its 14th session, combines lecture with hands-on sessions for personal instruction and interaction with the Asylum technical staff.

“We cover all the essential AFM topics that biologists need and want to learn about – from sample preparation to advanced imaging and force measurements,” said Dr. Nicholas Geisse, Applications Scientist. “The breadth of AFM experience of our staff is unsurpassed – in addition, both our President and CEO participate and class attendees have access to our entire scientific staff. Because only two to three people share an instrument for the hands-on experiments, the training is invaluable."

Commented previous student Dr. Anthony Quinn of the University of Vermont Microscopy Imaging Center, "The AFM in Biology Class was very instructive. The literature, hands-on sample preparation labs, and imaging sessions on the MFP-3D-BIO™ and Cypher™ AFMs were very useful and applicable to our research endeavors. The staff was outstanding in that they made you feel like a part of a caring family – and since the class, the ongoing correspondence and assistance has also been stupendous. Thanks for the hospitality and great course!"

This three-day course is held twice a year. Topics include sample prep, imaging and force measurements on DNA, high resolution imaging of bacteriorhodopsin, force measurements and mapping, imaging and pushing lipid bilayers, and imaging live cells. Hands-on labs will be done on the MFP-3D™ Stand Alone, MFP-3D-BIO and the Cypher AFM, the world's fastest and highest resolution AFM. Class size is limited. More information and a PDF of the registration form can be downloaded here.


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.

Asylum Research Introduces VFM2™ Variable Field Module for Magnetic Atomic Force Microscopy Applications with MFP-3D™ AFMs

November 1, 2011 - Asylum Research, the technology leader in scanning probe/atomic force microscopy, introduces the new Variable Field Module2 (VFM2) for the MFP-3D Atomic Force Microscopes (AFM). The VFM2 is ideal for researchers who want to apply magnetic fields to their atomic force microscopy experiments and applies continuously adjustable magnetic fields parallel to the sample plane approaching one Tesla with one Gauss resolution. The module is useful for magnetic force microscopy (MFM), conductive AFM (C-AFM), and other applications where the sample's properties are magnetic field dependent.

The VFM2 easily attaches to the MFP-3D AFMs and features adjustable pole tips for optimal choice between maximum required field, sample placement and minimum field gradients. The Module uses a unique design incorporating rare earth magnets to produce the magnetic field. Maintaining a steady field produces no heat, thermal drift, or mechanical vibration. Field intensity is software controllable. An integrated Gaussmeter provides a quantitative measure of the applied magnetic field.

For experiments where combined magnetic field and a high tip-sample voltage bias are required, such as for studies of ferroelectric and piezoelectric materials, the VFM2 High Voltage Kit can be easily attached to the VFM2. The High Voltage Kit allows application of tip biases up to ±220V.

Commented Roger Proksch, President of Asylum Research, “Prior to the introduction of the VFM2, high magnetic field measurements required complicated superconducting or water-cooled magnets, neither of which were particularly friendly to low-noise, high precision AFM measurements. Our team, headed by Maarten Rutgers, has made a startling increase in field strength along with increased measurement precision and ease of use. This is truly a major step forward in ambient AFM.”


MacroBuilder screen shot showing the Pallette of available ‘Modules’ from which the user can select to create a ‘Macro’ to automate the Cypher or MFP-3D AFM. Over 50 Modules are currently available with more being added. (Click to enlarge)

New MacroBuilder™ Software Offers Intelligent Automation for Asylum Research Atomic Force Microscopes

October 11, 2011 - Asylum Research, the technology leader in scanning probe/atomic force microscopy (AFM/SPM), provides its full-function MFP-3D™ and Cypher™ Atomic Force Microscopes (AFMs) with superior capabilities which require no programming to perform advanced imaging and measurements. For more advanced, automated, and out-of-the-box experiments, Asylum also provides a user-driven programming language called IGOR. While programming can be a daunting task for the novice, our new MacroBuilder interface allows users to easily implement IGOR customization like a pro – without writing any code – by simply dragging MacroBuilder "Modules" together to form Macros that can automate many measurements and analyses and be saved for repeated use. Each Module performs a specific operation, such as moving the tip to a position, collecting thermal data, or displaying the next saved force plot. Automation can range from simple tasks where the user might want to make a sequence of measurements − say take a series of images with different setpoints or a series of force curves at different positions on a sample − to more sophisticated procedures where the MacroBuilder software makes intelligent decisions; for example, MacroBuilder can decide to change subsequent measurement routines depending on the outcome of previous experiments. An additional benefit is that automated data acquisition can vastly improve throughput and even increase repeatability by removing arbitrariness from the imaging and measurement process. The options are virtually limitless with over 50 Modules included with the Asylum software and more being actively added. MacroBuilder comes standard in the Asylum Research software at no additional cost to the user. No other AFM system offers this kind of customizability and automation, another example of the power and flexibility of Asylum Research AFMs.

Commented Roger Proksch, President of Asylum Research, “MacroBuilder is a major advancement for automating AFM experiments. We expect it will revolutionize the way researchers work by allowing our users to run experiments completely unattended, including decision-making by the software based on pre-set ‘if-then’ instructions. It has already made big changes in the way I use our AFMs – I am really excited to see what our users do with it.”

See more information on MacroBuilder


Dr. Alex Veneman in the Stevenson Research group at UT-Austin preps a sample for Scanning Kelvin Probe Microscopy.

The University of Texas at Austin and Asylum Research Host an Atomic Force Microscopy Workshop on September 14-15, 2011

September 6, 2011 - Asylum Research, the technology leader in scanning probe/atomic force microscopy (AFM/SPM), in conjunction with the Center for Nano- and Molecular Science and Technology (CNM) at the University of Texas at Austin, will be hosting an Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) Workshop on September 14-15, 2011. The workshop will include lectures and equipment/imaging demonstrations/tutorials for both life science applications and electrical characterization of materials. Topics include force measurements and mapping, Scanning Kelvin Probe Microscopy (SKPM), nanomechanics in biology, piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM), thermal analysis and high resolution imaging with Cypher™, the world's fastest and highest resolution AFM. The workshop is open to current AFM researchers looking to learn more about AFM techniques, as well as those new to AFM that want to learn how AFM can be used in their own research.

“We are extremely pleased to be teaming with University of Texas at Austin for this workshop,” said John Green, EVP for Asylum Research. “The innovative research coming out of CNM affiliated research groups, including research to manipulate, analyze and control nanosized materials, and for understanding structure and reactivity relationships at materials interfaces is truly groundbreaking. Our workshop will also enable researchers to learn more about the capabilities of advanced AFM instrumentation, as well as to get invaluable tips for AFM operation.”

“This is a fantastic opportunity in working with the leading AFM manufacturer to educate and train existing and new practitioners in emerging AFM techniques and protocols across a broad range of applications,” said Prof. Keith Stevenson, CNM Director. “The development of nanoscience and technology depends strongly upon our ability to manipulate, analyze and control matter and energy on the atomic and molecular level. The development of new AFM methods and technology will play a key role in the state-of-the-art probing of electronic, optical, thermal, mechanical and electromechanical properties of nanostructures and devices.”

The first day of the seminar will include lectures from Asylum Research scientists as well as talks on the current work being done at the University of Texas at Austin. Equipment demonstrations will be done on the MFP-3D™ and Cypher AFMs. The second day of the workshop will include an overview lecture and dedicated demonstrations on the Cypher AFM for those interested in high speed, high resolution scanning. Limited spots are available. A registration fee of $20 will be charged to cover lunch and coffee breaks. Additional information and registration for the workshop can be found at www.AsylumResearch.com/Events/UTAustin2011/ .


Asylum Research and Atomic Force DE Appoint Rafaël Barbattini for AFM Support Français

September 1, 2011 - As part of its ongoing expansion, Asylum Research, the technology leader in scanning probe and atomic force microscopy (SPM/AFM), and its European distributor, Atomic Force F&E GmbH announced today that they have appointed Rafaël Barbattini to provide applications’ and product support for Asylum’s MFP-3D and Cypher AFM products in France. Rafaël has over 20 years experience in service and support of scientific instruments, including positions at IBM, UPSYS, and Veeco. Rafaël will be located in Paris and will be assisting our existing and prospective customers in France as well as surrounding countries. He can be contacted at +33 2 37 41 41 95, rafael.barbattini@oxinst.com.

Dr. Roland Goschke, Managing Director of Atomic Force F&E GmbH, commented: "We are happy to welcome Rafaël to Atomic Force. He is an important addition to our team and will be the primary contact for our growing base of French customers. They will enjoy his broad technical expertise, fast reaction times and competent support in all questions about AFM technology. Working from his office near Paris, he will be able to easily travel to most locations in France for on-site support. He has already impressed us with his knowledge and we are sure that this addition will strengthen Atomic Force's and Asylum Research's position in the French market."

Mr. Barbattini added, “Asylum Research is widely recognized for providing the best applications and product support in the AFM industry. Their MFP-3D™ and Cypher™ are also the best and most reliable AFMs available and my new position is a great opportunity for me to help their customers produce even better results and make more new discoveries. After many years experience in the AFM world I am really pleased to be reunited with some of the best names in the industry, and to be working with and increasing the dissemination of what is clearly the best AFM technology.”


The Figure displays the correlation between topography and the measured out-of-plane (OP) and in-plane (IP) Electrochemical Strain Microscopy (ESM) amplitude and phase signals. To demonstrate the surface characteristics of this LiCoO2 film, topography and deflection signals are shown in images (a) and (b), respectively. Small grains of LiCoO2 with a diameter of approximately 200-300nm can be identified. The maximum OP and IP ESM amplitudes are displayed in images (c) and (d). Both of the latter images show strong variations in the ESM response across the scanned area. In addition, the OP and IP ESM amplitude maps do not show the same features, demonstrating no or minimal cross-talk between the cantilever deflection and torsion. When images (c) and 7(d) are compared, grains with OP and IP response (#1), no OP but IP response (#2), and OP but no IP response (#3) can be identified.

ORNL and Asylum Research Receive Microscopy Today Innovation Award for New Electrochemical Strain Microscopy SPM Technique for Energy Storage Research

August 18, 2011 - Asylum Research, the technology leader in Scanning Probe and Atomic Force microscopy, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have just received the prestigious Microscopy Today Innovation (MT-10) Award for the development of Electrochemical Strain Microscopy (ESM). ESM is an innovative new scanning probe microscopy (SPM) technique implemented on Asylum’s Cypher™ and MFP-3D™ AFMs that is capable of probing electrochemical reactivity and ionic flows in solids on the sub-ten-nanometer level. ESM is the first technique that measures ionic currents directly, providing a new tool for mapping electrochemical phenomena on the nanoscale. The capability to probe electrochemical processes and ionic transport in solids is invaluable for a broad range of applications for energy generation and storage ranging from batteries to fuel cells. ESM has the potential to aid in these advances with two major improvements over conventional technologies: (a) the resolution to probe nanometer-scale volumes and (b) the inherent ability to decouple ionic from electronic currents with imaging capability extended to a broad range of spectroscopy techniques reminiscent of conventional electrochemical tools.

“We’re extremely excited to have won this prestigious award,” said Roger Proksch, President of Asylum Research. “Our collaboration with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory has put forth many new cutting-edge developments in the field of SPM, including Piezoresponse Force Microscopy, Switching Spectroscopy PFM, and Band Excitation. Asylum Research and our collaborators continue to lead the industry with technical innovation as confirmed by this award.”

Commented Sergei Kalinin, senior research staff member at the ORNL Center for Nanophase Materials Science, “Ionic phenomena in solids directly underpin multiple energy technologies ranging from batteries to fuel cells, as well as emergent electroresistive and memristive memories. Furthermore, very often they can contribute to observed physical phenomena in correlated oxides. Electrochemical Strain Microscopy provides the pathway to study the kinetics and thermodynamics of electrochemical processes in solids on the nanoscale, opening a window in these poorly explored aspects of materials functionality”.

Nina Balke added, “This is the first time we can actually see phenomena in batteries well below the100 nanometer level, observing their charging and degradation on the level of single structural defects.”

Concluded Stephen Jesse, the mastermind behind the development of ESM, “ESM offers an example of a multidimensional SPM technique that provides a new and decisive step towards understanding the nanoscale world of ionic systems.”

About Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the Department of Energy's largest science and energy laboratory. ORNL has a staff of more than 4,800 and annually hosts approximately 3,000 guest researchers who spend two weeks or longer in Oak Ridge. As an international leader in a range of scientific areas that support the Department of Energy's mission, ORNL has six major mission roles: neutron science, energy, high-performance computing, systems biology, materials science at the nanoscale, and national security. ORNL's leadership role in the nation's energy future includes hosting the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences - one of the five Department of Energy Nanoscale Science Research Centers, which serve as user facilities for interdisciplinary research at the nanoscale supported by the DOE Office of Science.


Asylum Research Installs First Cypher™ AFM in China

August 9, 2011 - Asylum Research, the technology leader in scanning probe/atomic force microscopy (AFM/SPM), announced today that it has installed the first Cypher AFM system in China at the South China Normal University in Guangzhou. Cypher, the world’s fastest and highest resolution AFM, was installed in the lab of Professor Xingsen Gao at the SCNU Institute for Advanced Materials by personnel from Asylum Research and Grapes Hangzhou Technology Co. Ltd, Asylum’s representative in China. Professor Gao’s group will use Cypher to investigate advanced piezoelectric, ferroelectric, and multiferroic materials.

Professor Gao commented, “Our new Cypher AFM is the first of its kind in China. We chose Cypher because of its true atomic resolution and sophisticated PFM imaging techniques. We are planning to use it as a stable and powerful platform for probing various nanoscale properties on multifunctional materials with integration of other electrical characterization methods.”

Dr. David Beck, VP of Sales for Asylum Research in the Asia Pacific Region added, “We are very excited to have Professor Gao as our first Cypher user in China. His research on multifunctional materials will take full advantage of Cypher’s revolutionary design, specifically fast scanning, high resolution, and advanced PFM modes such as Dual AC Resonance Tracking (DART) and Band Excitation (BE). We expect that this will be the first of many more Cyphers in China as researchers see the benefits of its unique and advanced capabilities.”

Jason Cleveland, CEO of Asylum Research, will be demonstrating the Cypher AFM system at the upcoming China NANO 2011 conference in Beijing from September 7-9 (Booth C29).

Shown with the Cypher AFM system, left to right: Amir Moshar (Asylum Research), Prof. Xingsen Gao (SCNU), Dr. David Beck (Asylum Research), Yan Feng (HZGLP), and George Jiang (HZGLP).


Euro Atomic Force Microscopy Forum 2011, Zurich, September 7-9

June 23, 2011 – ETH Zurich, Atomic Force F&E GmbH and Asylum Research announce the third Euro AFM Forum 2011 to be held in Zurich, Switzerland on September 7 to 9 in cooperation with Prof. Ralph Spolenak at the campus Science City (Hönggerberg) of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zürich). The Euro AFM Forum agenda will include both invited and submitted talks, a poster session, an image contest and the very popular instrument and equipment labs done on the Cypher™ and MFP-3D™ AFMs. Topics will focus on AFM for both materials and life science applications. The EuroForum is open to all AFM researchers that are looking to share their research with the AFM community and to learn tips and tricks of instrumentation and software.

Invited speakers include:
• Lyubov Belova, KTH Stockholm
• Rüdiger Berger, MPIP Mainz
• Ivo Rangelow, TU Ilmenau
• Andras Kis, EPFL Lausanne
• Christan Greiner, KIT Karlsruhe
• Céline Lichtensteiger, University of Geneva
• Karim Bouzehouane, Thales
• Alexander Jakob/Stefan Mayr, IOM Leipzig

Ludger Weisser, General Manager of Atomic Force F&E commented, “We are very pleased to welcome researchers to the EuroForum at ETH Zurich. After successful previous meetings at the University of Muenster and the Technical University of Munich, we have chosen the ETH Zurich due to its high scientific ranking within Europe. With currently seven installations, including two of our new Cypher AFMs, the ETH is currently among the highest concentration of Asylum AFMs in Europe. The Material Science department is known for its great scientific work and we are privileged that they have partnered with us for the 2011 AFM Forum.”

Abstracts are currently being accepted for submitted talks and the poster session, with a deadline of August 15. The first circular is available for download at the conference website at:
http://www.atomicforce.de/Euro-AFM-Forum-2011-Register.php


Asylum Research Offers Nanomechanics Class – AFM and Instrumented Nanoindenting: Techniques and Instrumentation, August 16-18

June 6, 2011 – Asylum Research, the technology leader in scanning probe/atomic force microscopy (AFM/SPM) announces its Nanomechanics Class to be held August 16-18, 2011 in Santa Barbara, California. The class is geared toward beginner-to-intermediate level AFM users who want to gain a greater understanding of nanomechanical characterization techniques and instrumentation using AFM and instrumented nanoindenting. The class combines lectures and hands-on experiments designed to teach AFM theory, instrumentation and scanning modes used for contact mechanics, including properties such as stiffness, adhesion, viscoelasticity and others. Guest speakers will include Donna Hurley, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and Dalia Yablon, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering. Both researchers are doing ground-breaking work in the field of AFM and nanomechanics.

“We are very excited about offering this new class since nanomechanical characterization using AFM is becoming more essential in a wide range of applications from biomechanics to polymers," said Roger Proksch, President of Asylum Research. "The hands-on sessions are invaluable to demonstrate the breadth of measurements that can be done using AFM instrumentation.”

Topics include:

  • Principles of AFM

  • General Nanomechanics

  • Instrumented Nanoindentation

  • Force Measurements and Material Properties

  • Choosing Cantilevers for Specific Scan Methods

  • Phase Imaging and Dissipation

  • Multifrequency Imaging Modes

  • Force Modulation

  • Contact Resonance Imaging

Hands-on equipment labs will be demonstrated on these Asylum Research instruments:

  • The Cypher™ AFM, the world's fastest and highest resolution AFM

  • The MFP NanoIndenter for true quantitative measurements and the first AFM-based system that does not use cantilevers as part of the indenting mechanism

  • The MFP-3D™ AFM – closed loop precision and accuracy with the widest range of AFM/SPM capabilities

The Nanomechanics Class lectures and experiments will be tailored to the skill level and topics of interest of the registrants. Class size will be limited so as to provide individualized instruction. Students will be registered on a first-come, first-served basis and must register before July 8, 2011. A PDF of the registration form can be downloaded from the Asylum Research web site at www.AsylumResearch.com/Classes/NanomechanicsClass.pdf


Asylum Research Appoints Dr. Mark Reitsma as Midwest US Sales Director

May 17, 2011 - As part of its ongoing expansion, Asylum Research, the technology leader in scanning probe and atomic force microscopy (SPM/AFM), announced today that it has appointed Dr. Mark Reitsma as its Midwest US Sales Director. Dr. Reitsma received his PhD in Engineering from the University of Newcastle, Australia for his work with AFM on geomaterials. For the past eight years, Mark has been working in the area of AFM force measurement calibration and investigation of materials properties at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Mark will be located in Chicago and will be assisting our existing and prospective customers in the Midwest region, including Kansas, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Mark can be contacted at (202) 714-7731, mark@asylumresearch.com.

“We are very excited about adding Mark to our sales team,” said John Green, Executive Vice President of Sales for Asylum Research. “His extensive background in AFM and materials research will be a great asset to Asylum Research and our ability to help prospective customers make informed decisions."

Dr. Reitsma added, “After working in AFM metrology and surface science research for many years, I see my position at Asylum Research as a tremendous opportunity to interact with some of the most talented scientists and engineers in the field, helping them to make informed decisions on the Cypher™ and MFP-3D™ AFMs, the very best AFM instrumentation available.”


Asylum Research Announces UK User Meeting and Forum June 21, 2011 in Edinburgh

May 10, 2011 – Asylum Research, the technology leader in scanning probe and atomic force microscopy (SPM/AFM), announces its 3rd UK User Meeting and Forum to be held June 21 (before the RMS UK SPM Meeting) in Edinburgh, UK. All AFM researchers and Asylum users are invited to share their research with an informative day of technical talks, tutorials, equipment demonstrations and a poster session.

Dr. Chris Mulcahy, Managing Director of Asylum Research UK Ltd. commented, “The User Meeting and Forum is an excellent opportunity to learn what our colleagues are doing in their AFM research. It’s also our chance to show them exciting new technical capabilities through the very popular equipment demonstrations which give researchers the chance to ask-the-expert and learn tips and tricks on the AFM. It’s an educational, fun day spent with our AFM colleagues and a chance to acknowledge our users that are doing ground-breaking research.”

Abstracts are currently being accepted for talks and the poster session. Abstracts can be submitted until May 27, 2011. Prizes will be awarded for the best posters.

A small registration fee of £40 for faculty and £30 for students will be charged to cover teas, lunch and happy hour at the poster session. Additional information, abstract submission, and registration can be found at the conference website: http://www.AsylumResearch.com/Events/UKForum/


Asylum Research Cypher™ Atomic Force Microscope Achieves Point Defect Atomic Resolution in Liquids

April 28, 2011 – Asylum Research, the technology leader in scanning probe and atomic force microscopy (SPM/AFM) announced today that its revolutionary Cypher AFM is routinely achieving resolution of atomic-scale point defects in liquid. While scanning tunneling microscopes have routinely demonstrated point defect resolution since their invention, this gold standard of true atomic resolution has been more elusive in AFM. Many commercial AFMs can routinely image atomic lattices in ambient and liquid conditions, but the lack of point defects has led most researchers to conclude that the contact areas are typically several atoms across. More recently, instrumental improvements have brought true atomic resolution to ultra-high vacuum (UHV) AFM. Achieving true-atomic resolution under ambient conditions at the liquid-solid interface brings this resolution to an environment highly relevant for much practical research. The Cypher AFM’s industry best signal-to-noise and support for ultra-small probes have enabled this breakthrough in atomic scale imaging.

Commented Jason Cleveland, Asylum Research CEO, “This raises the bar on what people should expect in terms of AFM resolution. Some AFM companies are renaming modes that have been around for years –such as frequency modulation or force volumes– and re-introducing them as “new” modes. Asylum Research has a different approach. We took the most popular imaging mode, AC-mode (also known as tapping, intermittent-contact, or dynamic AFM), kept the name and improved the resolution. The proof is in the images. Prior to this, no other commercial AFM has demonstrated resolution at this level.”

Several technological advancements make this atomic scale imaging achievement possible:

  • First is the improved signal-to-noise ratio from the use of ultra-small cantilevers with megahertz resonant frequencies in liquid, a capability unique to Asylum’s state-of-the-art Cypher AFM.

  • Second, the optical lever detection noise floor has been pushed to 25 fm/rtHz, allowing the measurements to remain thermally limited even with very stiff cantilevers and amplitudes as small as 1 Angstrom. These two improvements allow operation with stiff cantilevers and tiny amplitudes, allowing gentle enough imaging that true atomic-sized contact areas are possible.

  • Finally, Cypher’s exceptionally low open-loop noise of 5pm in X, Y, and Z allows the stability to image at this scale, even on a scanner with a 30µm lateral range.

Successive AC mode topography images of the cleavage plane of a calcite crystal in water. The repeated point defects demonstrate the true atomic resolution capabilities of the Cypher AFM. Arrows indicate scan direction. Scan size 20nm; Z scale 3.2Å; Cantilever Amplitude 4Å; Cantilever Frequency 454 kHz.


Call for Abstracts for the 2nd Int'l Workshop for Scanning Probe Microscopy for Energy Applications

April 5, 2011 - Abstracts for both oral presentations and a poster session are now being accepted for the 2nd International Workshop for Scanning Probe Microscopy for Energy Applications, June 8-10, 2011, at the Max Planck Institute for Polymers (MPIP) in Mainz, Germany, co-sponsored by AFM manufacturer, Asylum Research. The Workshop will focus on sharing new and innovative research involving characterization of the microscopic mechanisms underpinning solar cell, battery, and fuel cell operations, and materials used for alternative energy applications at the nanometer to micron range. Recent advances/techniques in SPM/AFM used to characterized energy relevant materials and systems will also be addressed. Deadline for abstract submission is May 20, 2011. Solicited abstract topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Mapping of carrier dynamics and photo-induced behavior of photovoltaic materials

  • Ionic & electronic transport in fuel cells and lithium-ion batteries

  • Energy harvesting, and energy dissipation imaging by multimodal and band excitation SPM

  • New SPM advances/techniques for characterizing materials including electrochemical strain microscopy, contact resonance, and multi-modal techniques

  • Micro-Raman and NSOM, and probes applied in the field of energy application.

The 2nd Int’l Workshop for Scanning Probe Microscopy for Energy Applications is co-sponsored by MPIP and Asylum Research, the technology leader in Atomic Force/Scanning Probe Microscopy. Additional information on the agenda, invited speakers, abstract submission, and registration can be found at the conference website.


The topographic image (left) of amorphous Si anode in the Si/LiPON/LiCoO2 thin-film battery structure shows the presence of a number of grain boundaries, as well as extensive surface roughness. The ESM image (right) is obtained by measuring the electrochemical strain hysteresis loops at each pixel (100x100 pixel image over 1 micron area). The area hysteresis loop is a measure of Li-ion mobility, and is plotted as 2D map (dark blue corresponds to closed loops, red to open loops). The enhanced Li-ion mobility along the sharp grain boundary is clearly seen, as well as localized hot spots on the diffuse grain boundary and within the grains. The effective resolution of ESM for this material is ~ 10 nm, providing a high-resolution view of Li-ion dynamics in these materials. (Reprinted from N. Balke, et al., Nano Lett. 10, 3420 (2010).

Asylum Research Introduces Electrochemical Strain Microscopy for Energy Storage Research

March 15, 2011 - Asylum Research, the technology leader in Scanning Probe and Atomic Force Microscopy (SPM/AFM), has announced the new Electrochemical Strain Microscopy (ESM) imaging technique for its Cypher™ and MFP-3D™ AFMs. Developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Asylum Research, ESM is an innovative scanning probe microscopy (SPM) technique capable of probing electrochemical reactivity and ionic flows in solids on the sub-ten-nanometer level. ESM is the first technique that measures ionic currents directly, providing a new tool for mapping electrochemical phenomena on the nanoscale. The capability to probe electrochemical processes and ionic transport in solids is invaluable for a broad range of applications for energy generation and storage ranging from batteries to fuel cells. ESM has the potential to aid in these advances with two major improvements over other conventional technologies: (a) the resolution to probe nanometer-scale volumes and (b) the inherent ability to decouple ionic from electronic currents with (c) imaging capability extended to a broad range of spectroscopy techniques reminiscent of conventional electrochemical tools. Nina Balke of ORNL will be presenting recent results at the International Workshop on Scanning Probe Microscopy for Energy Applications (http://www.mpip-mainz.mpg.de/symposium/spm2011/) in Mainz, Germany, June 8-10 2011.

Commented Roger Proksch, President of Asylum Research, “Progress in energy storage and conversion will be greatly facilitated by the ability to study batteries and fuel cells at the level of several nanometers. ESM provides functional imaging of electrochemical phenomena in volumes millions to a billion times smaller than conventional current-based electrochemical techniques. This new technique opens the pathway to understanding energy technology and ionic devices on the level of individual grains and defects, thus bridging macroscopic functionalities and atomistic mechanisms. This in turn will lead to improved energy storage solutions – batteries with extremely high energy densities and long lifetimes and fuel cells with very high energy densities and efficiencies.”

"Traditionally, scanning probe microscopy techniques allowed measurement of electronic currents and short- and long-range forces," added Sergei Kalinin, Senior Research Staff Member in the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences at ORNL and co-inventor (with Nina Balke and Stephen Jesse) of ESM. "ESM extends this capability to measure ionic currents, and has already been demonstrated for a variety of Li-ion cathode, anode, and electrolyte materials, as well as oxygen electrolytes and mixed electronic-ionic conductors. The ubiquitous presence of concentration-molar volume coupling in electrochemical systems suggests that this technique is in fact universal for solid state ionic imaging – from batteries and solid state to memristive electronics.

Stephen Jesse added “Perhaps even more importantly, the use of band excitation and DART engines allows measurements to be performed on rough surfaces of realistic electrochemical materials, making ESM useful for real materials and devices.”


The EC Cell, shown with heater, provides heating from ambient to 60°C. The heater allows, for example, studies of electrolytes which are not liquids at room temperature.

Asylum Research Introduces Electrochemistry Cell for MFP-3D™ Atomic Force Microscopes

March 9, 2011 - Asylum Research, the technology leader in Scanning Probe and Atomic Force Microscopy (SPM/AFM), has announced the new Electrochemistry Cell (EC Cell) for its MFP-3D™ AFMs. The EC Cell is a versatile platform for electrochemical experiments combined with AFM imaging. The EC Cell accommodates samples (working electrodes) of various sizes, including metal cylinders, flat conducting samples, and even conducting thin films on insulating substrates, and enables studies of deposition, oxidation, corrosion, and mass transfer of metals and other materials. Nanoscale topographical changes can be precisely monitored in situ as induced by electrochemical reactions. The cell provides for heating from ambient to 60°C (optional) and can be operated in a fully sealed configuration.

Product Manager, Dr. Maarten Rutgers, commented, “We developed the EC Cell in collaboration with Prof. Richard Compton of the University of Oxford (UK) to conduct electrochemical experiments and, simultaneously, develop images of the changes occurring to the sample. This new tool is already saving researchers a considerable amount of time and, additionally, allows observation of many processes as they occur.”


Tapping/AC mode image of calcite in water, 15nm scan, 1Å height scale. The point defects remained visible through several images, demonstrating Cypher’s true atomic resolution.

Asylum Research Presents Cypher™ UCLA-CNSI Scan Tour/Workshop April 19-20, 2011

March 7, 2011 - Asylum Research, the technology leader in scanning probe and atomic force microscopy (SPM/AFM), announces the Cypher AFM Scan Tour and Workshop will take place at the UCLA-CNSI’s Nano and Pico Characterization Laboratory on April 19-20, 2011. Each day’s agenda will include a presentation of Cypher’s unique features and allow attendees to “look inside the box” and really get to grips with Cypher’s revolutionary design. Attendees are invited to bring their samples for individual demonstrations of Cypher in real-time, and to experience the unique capabilities of the world’s highest resolution AFM, including closed loop atomic resolution, fast scanning, and advanced ease-of-use features such as SpotOn™ automatic laser and photodiode alignment. Three slots will be available each day for attending groups to assess their own samples using their scanning modes of choice.  Registration is free and all interested parties are welcome. Attendance is limited so early registration is recommended. Attendees may register at www.AsylumResearch.com/Events/CATour/

John Green, Executive Vice President of Sales at Asylum Research commented, “We are very pleased that the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) at UCLA will be the first stop on our Cypher California Tour this year. The Nano and Pico Characterization Laboratory is a renowned center providing state-of-the-art research tools and experienced scientist support for its multitude of users and collaborators in the nanoscience community. This workshop will introduce researchers to the advanced capabilities th at Cypher can bring to their research, especially in the dynamic and growing fields of energy storage, polymer materials, and single molecule studies.”

Adam Stieg, Scientific Director of the Nano and Pico Characterization Laboratory (NPC) at UCLA-CNSI, noted “The NPC Lab and CNSI are extremely excited to be a host for Asylum’s 2011 Cypher California Tour. Workshops of this kind provide an extremely valuable opportunity for researchers to gain hands-on experience in the characterization of real samples that would not be possible in other venues. Given the breadth of the scientific community here at UCLA, this extended workshop will serve to expose researchers to the advantages provided by AFM methods in the execution of cutting-edge nanoscience research.”

About UCLA’s CNSI Nano and Pico Characterization Lab
The Nano and Pico Characterization Lab (NPC) in the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) provides an unprecedented collection of nanoscale surface analysis instrumentation in a single, multi-user facility. By combining multiple modes of surface analysis, this facility enables thorough investigation of the vast array of physical, chemical and electrical properties necessary for complete study of an experimental system and developing nanotechnologies.

The Nano & Pico Characterization Lab provides both state-of-the-art microscopic techniques to visualize surfaces, adsorbates, nanostructures and devices at the atomic and molecular scale as well as a unique opportunity for researchers to gain insight into local properties under a wide range of experimental conditions. An ever increasing demand for knowledge of how matter behaves at the nanoscale and beyond has forced these measurements and methods to the forefront of nanoscience research.

For additional information, contact Terry Mehr, Director of Marketing Communications, Asylum Research, 6310 Hollister Avenue, Santa Barbara, CA 93117, 805-696-6466x224, terry@AsylumResearch.com, www.AsylumResearch.com.


Tapping/AC mode image of calcite in water, 15nm scan, 1Å height scale. The point defects remained visible through several images, demonstrating Cypher’s true atomic resolution.

Asylum Research Presents Cypher™ United Kingdom and Ireland Scan Tour for Spring 2011

March 3, 2011 - Asylum Research, the technology leader in scanning probe and atomic force microscopy (SPM/AFM), announces the continuation of the Cypher AFM Scan Tour that will take place at the University of Southampton, March 29-31, and University College Dublin, April 5-7. Each day’s agenda will include a presentation of Cypher’s unique features and allow attendees to “look inside the box” and really get to grips with Cypher’s revolutionary design. Attendees are invited to bring their samples for individual demonstrations of Cypher in real-time, and to experience the unique capabilities of the world’s highest resolution AFM, including closed loop atomic resolution, fast scanning, and advanced ease-of-use features such as SpotOn™ automatic laser and photodiode alignment. Three slots will be available each day for attending groups to assess their own samples using their scanning modes of choice.  Please contact Chris Mulcahy for additional information or go to www.AsylumResearch.com/UKTour/ to register.  Registration is free and all interested parties are welcome. Attendance is limited so early registration is recommended.

Dr. Chris Mulcahy, Managing Director of Asylum Research UK Ltd. Commented, “We are thrilled to be taking to the road again with Cypher in Southampton and at UCD, Ireland. Our Tour last autumn was very well received with many scientists captivated by Cypher’s fast scanning, ease-of-use and superior closed-loop resolution, imaging and measurement accuracy. We can’t wait to impress more of our region’s AFM users on this second set of tour dates.”

Added Dr. Laurent Bozec of the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN), “We were delighted to host a team of researchers from Asylum Research to the LCN in London to demonstrate the capabilities of their new Cypher atomic force microscope. During this three-day event, our researchers had the chance to try this new high resolution microscope and were left with a very positive experience. I believe Cypher is one of if not the best high performance AFM on the market. It shines by its combination of high-resolution and ease of use.”


New Scanning Probe Microscopy Book Features Articles by Asylum Research Scientists and Customers

February 22, 2011 - The new book, “Scanning Probe Microscopy of Functional Materials,” edited by Dr. Sergei Kalinin of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Alexei Gruverman of the University of Nebraska, describes cutting-edge nanoscale imaging and spectroscopy advances in the field of atomic force/scanning probe microscopy. The volume includes 18 articles by leading university, U.S. government, and industry researchers, including three authored or co-authored by Dr. Roger Proksch of Asylum Research, the technology leader in scanning probe/atomic force microscopy (AFM/SPM). Recent research has produced remarkable progress in the development of scanning probe microscopy and this new book is expected to become a seminal work in the field.

Commented author and President of Asylum Research, Roger Proksch, "This new book includes papers on a broad range of new techniques that extend the functionality of SPMs and we think it is an excellent overview for readers interested in quickly getting up to speed on the latest developments. I am delighted to be an author on three of the chapters, which illustrate some of the exciting new capabilities we have incorporated into our MFP-3D™ and Cypher™ AFMs, including Band Excitation, Dual AC Resonance Tracking (DART), Piezoresponse Force Microscopy (PFM), and Ztherm™ modulated thermal analysis."

"SPM has truly become a key characterization tool, not just for selected scientific disciplines, but for the field of nanoscience and technology in general,” notes Alexei Gruverman, co-editor of the book and Associate Professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “This book presents a snapshot of the most advanced modes of this continuously evolving technique describing nanoscale studies of a variety of functional materials such as complex oxides, biopolymers, and semiconductors.”

"One of the central tasks of this book is to provide an overview of recent developments in emerging fields of SPM, such as nanoscale thermal analysis, band excitation, chemical imaging using mass-spectrometric detection, as well as exotic combinations of SPM and focused X-ray methods, to name a few," added Sergei Kalinin, co-editor of the book and Senior Staff Member at Oak Ridge Center for Nanophase materials. "The unique aspect of this book is a strong representation of the leading SPM companies with their cutting-edge research and SPM developments that are now becoming available in academic, government, and industrial labs as well as techniques just emerging in leading research labs worldwide."


Max Planck Institute and Asylum Research Organize 2nd International Workshop for Scanning Probe Microscopy for Energy Applications

February 17, 2011 - The Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) and Asylum Research, the technology leader in scanning probe/atomic force microscopy (SPM/AFM), are co-organizing the 2nd International Workshop for Scanning Probe Microscopy for Energy Applications, to be held at the MPI-P in Mainz, Germany from June 8-10, 2011. Following the highly successful first conference with well over 100 attendees at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2010, this 2nd Workshop will focus on sharing new and innovative research involving characterization of the microscopic mechanisms underpinning solar cell, battery, and fuel cell operations, and materials used for alternative energy applications at the nanometer to micron range. Recent advances/techniques in SPM/AFM used to characterized energy relevant materials and systems will also be addressed. The three-day meeting will include invited/contributed talks and a poster session. Equipment labs and tutorials will be held on the last day for demonstration of recently-developed dynamic and multi-spectral SPM modes using Asylum Research’s Cypher™ and MFP-3D™ SPM/AFMs. Abstracts are now being accepted for contributed talks and a poster session. Go to www.mpip-mainz.mpg.de/symposium/spm2011 for information on the agenda, abstract submission, and registration.

Rüdiger Berger of Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research commented, “I am happy that we can host the 2nd International Workshop on Scanning Probe Microscopy for Energy Applications at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research. Green energy is one of the most important current issues and we need multidisciplinary teamwork in this area to identify the best strategies.  Surfaces and interfaces play a crucial role in solar cell devices and batteries. We are proud to bring together scientists from all over the world to discuss recent findings and to discuss ways to accelerate the development of green energy technologies.”

“Energy generation, storage, and conversion systems are an integral component of emerging green technologies, including solar power, automotive, and storage components of solar and wind energy economics. The microscopic mechanisms underpinning solar cell, battery and fuel cell operations in the nanometer to micron range are currently not well understood. This workshop is designed to bring together leading scientists in these energy applications of SPM/AFM to share their research and spur additional work to advance the field,” added Roger Proksch, President of Asylum Research.


Asylum Research Offers AFM in Biology Class April 13-15, 2011

February 11, 2011 - Asylum Research, the technology leader in scanning probe/atomic force microscopy (AFM/SPM) announces its AFM in Biology Class to be held April 13-15, 2011 in Santa Barbara, California. The class is open to all Atomic Force Microscopy users that want to increase their knowledge of AFM in biology and life sciences. A high resolution imaging lab on the Cypher™ AFM, the world’s highest resolution AFM, has recently been added to the curriculum. This world-renowned class, now in its lucky 13th session, combines lecture with hands-on sessions for personal instruction and interaction with the Asylum technical staff.

“We cover all the essential AFM topics that biologists need and want to learn about – from sample preparation to advanced imaging and force measurements,” said Sophia Hohlbauch, Applications Scientist. “The breadth of AFM experience of our staff is unsurpassed – both our President and CEO participate and class attendees have access to all of our scientific staff. The class is fun, with a good mix of lecture and equipment time.”

Commented student Fettah Kosar, Technical Manager, Materials Facilities Center for Nanoscale Systems (CNS) Harvard University, “I recently attended the AFM in Biology Class with not much AFM experience and was skeptical about how much knowledge and experience I could gain in just three days. The class turned out to be way above my expectations. It was very well organized with classroom lectures balanced with hands-on exercises. There were never more than two students per microscope. The instructors were all experts in their fields and very approachable. The atmosphere at Asylum was relaxed and fun, making the class extremely enjoyable. Oh, I should also mention that they fed us really well!”

The three day course is held twice a year. Topics include sample prep, force measurements, and imaging on DNA, proteins, force measurements and mapping, lipids and imaging live cells. Hands-on labs will be done on the MFP-3D™ Stand Alone, MFP-3D-BIO™ and the Cypher AFM. Class size is limited. A PDF of the registration form can be downloaded from the Asylum Research web site at www.AsylumResearch.com/Events/BioClassRegistration.pdf.


Asylum Research Hosts Atomic Force Microscopy Workshop at Purdue’s Birck Nanotechnology Center on February 17, 2011

February 1, 2011 - The Birck Nanotechnology Center (BNC) at Purdue University, in conjunction with Asylum Research, the technology leader in scanning probe/atomic force microscopy (AFM/SPM), will be hosting an Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) Workshop on February 17, 2011. The Birck Nanotechnology Center hosts workshops for its constituents by aligning top tool developers and scientists to educate and train AFM users on state-of-art equipment located within its 187,000 square foot research facility. The workshop will include lectures and equipment/imaging demonstrations for both life science applications and electrical characterization of materials. Topics include AFM for biological applications, force measurements and mapping, combined AFM and optical imaging, cell imaging, and electrical characterization using conductive AFM. In addition, Purdue researchers Dr. Robert Moon, Assistant Professor of Materials Engineering, and Ryan Wagner, Graduate Student, will present a talk on force-displacement measurements.

“We are extremely pleased to be teaming with the Birck Nanotechnology Center for this workshop and its benefits are twofold – to support the continued education of AFM technology and applications to current researchers at the Center, as well as to introduce the technology to other scientists in and around the vicinity,” said John Green, EVP of Sales for Asylum Research. “Ground-breaking research in AFM, including work done in the Arvind Raman Group, certainly confirms Birck as a leading US nanotechnology center.”

When asked about the upcoming AFM workshop, Dr. Xin Xu, the scanning probe scientist in the Birck Center, said “The new bio-AFM facility built around Asylum's MFP-3D-BIO AFM has greatly improved Birck's scanning probe capability and has been an important step in promoting AFM use across Purdue's campus. I look forward to the workshop and hope it will convince others that the Birck Center is an important scanning probe asset."

The AFM Workshop will be held in Room 2001 at the BNC and is open to current AFM researchers looking to learn more about AFM techniques from Asylum and Purdue experts, as well as to those new to AFM that want to learn how AFM can be used in their own research. A small registration fee of $30 will be charged to cover lunch and coffee breaks. Additional information and registration for the workshop can be found at (www.conf.purdue.edu/atomic).

About Birck Nanotechnology Center at Purdue University
The BNC leverages advances in nanoscale science and engineering to create innovative nanotechnologies addressing societal challenges and opportunities in computing, communications, the environment, security, energy independence, and health. The BNC opened in July of 2005. This facility comprises 187,000 square feet, providing office space for 45 faculty, 21 clerical and technical staff, and up to 180 graduate students. The heart of the building is a 25,000 sq. ft. Class 1-10-100 nanofabrication cleanroom (Scifres Nanofabrication Laboratory), part of which is configured as a biomolecular cleanroom with separate entry and gowning areas and isolated air flow. The building also includes over 22,000 sq. ft. of laboratory space external to the cleanroom, including special low vibration rooms for nanostructures research, with temperature control to less than 0.01 °C. Other laboratories are specialized for nanophotonics, crystal growth, bio-nanotechnology, molecular electronics, MEMS and NEMS, surface analysis, SEM/TEM, electrical characterization, RF systems, instruction and training, precision micro-machining and the Hall Nanometrology Laboratory. In addition, a unique nanotechnology incubator facility is provided for interaction with industry. At the 2009 NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Grantee's Conference, Purdue University was noted by Dr. Mihail C. Rocco, Senior Advisor for Nanotechnology for NSF, as the institution that has received the most Nanoscale Science and Engineering awards that year. Three other universities located in the Midwest also ranked in the top five, solidifying the Midwest’s dedication and expertise to nanotechnology research. Additional information can be found on their web site at http://www.purdue.edu/discoverypark/nanotechnology/


Advanced Tutorial Offered at the 3rd Multifrequency AFM Conference in Madrid, Spain, on March 13th

January 26, 2011 - Asylum Research, the technology leader in scanning probe/atomic force microscopy (AFM/SPM), is offering a Bimodal AFM Tutorial on March 13, 2011 in conjunction with the 3rd Multifrequency AFM Conference in Madrid, Spain, March 14-15. The Bimodal AFM Tutorial is free of charge to conference attendees that want to increase their knowledge of multifrequency techniques, including cantilever physics, materials contrast, bimodal imaging theory, simulation with VEDA, and future directions of the technique. Techniques will be demonstrated on AFM instrumentation. Guest lecturers include world-renowned researchers in the field: Arvind Raman of Purdue University, Elena T. Herruzo, Instituto de Microelectrónica de Madrid, CSIC, Garcia Lab, and Roger Proksch of Asylum Research.

“This tutorial is ideal for the researcher that wants to learn more about materials contrast through multifrequency techniques,” said Roger Proksch, President of Asylum Research. “AFM still faces numerous challenges to bring together molecular resolution imaging and quantification of material properties. Understanding higher harmonics and cantilever dynamics is clearly the next evolution of AFM that will take this research to a higher level.”

Commented Prof. Ricardo Garcia, Conference Chair, “In 2011 we will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the invention of the AFM.  AFM has become one of the main pillars that sustain the advanced nanoscience and nanotechnology.  However, the AFM still faces challenges to bring together molecular resolution imaging and quantification of material properties. The need for higher compositional resolution and sensitivity has led to an evolution from single to multifrequency excitation and detection schemes.  The Multifrequency conference and the Biomodal Tutorial aim to bring together AFM experts and newcomers to share knowledge on the instrumentation and theoretical aspects of the next generation of advanced force microscopes.”

The afternoon tutorial will be held at the Ayre Gran Hotel in Colon, Spain, Multifrequency Conference headquarters. Registration for the Advanced Tutorial is limited to 15 people and will be based on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional information and registration can be found on the 3rd Multifrequency AFM Conference web site at http://www.imm.cnm.csic.es/spm/multifrequency/scope.html.


Asylum Research Sets Annual Sales Record

January 19, 2011 - Asylum Research, the technology leader for atomic force and scanning probe microscopy (AFM/SPM), announced today that its 2010 sales set a new record, besting its record-breaking 2009 by nearly 20%. The new record was fueled by increasing acceptance of Asylum’s Cypher™ Atomic Force Microscope, the world’s highest resolution AFM. Sales also accelerated for the MFP-3D-BIO™ AFM, which mounts on an inverted optical microscope platform for the biosciences, and for the versatile MFP-3D™ Stand Alone AFM for physical and materials science applications.

Commented John Green, Asylum Research Executive VP of Sales, “Sales growth at these levels in the present market for a second consecutive year is a tremendous achievement.  The extra efforts of everyone in our worldwide organization contribute to this continued success.  We also want to thank all our users who so eagerly spread the word and continue to drive us to maintain our preeminence as the technology leader in scanning probe and atomic force microscopy.”  

Added Dr. Roger Proksch, Asylum Research President, “Our ongoing rapid growth is the result of the quality and performance of our existing and new products – not to mention the legendary product and applications support our people provide. Our introduction of the innovative new Cypher product line has continued our tradition of excellence. Instead of contenting ourselves with tweaking older products like other AFM companies, we invested to bring forth the first new small sample AFM in more than ten years.”

 


Asylum Research • 6310 Hollister Ave. • Santa Barbara, CA 93117 • 888-472-2795805-696-6466 voice • 805-696-6444 fax • info@AsylumResearch.com