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|Oxford Instruments Asylum Research News Archives December. 2012 through December 2014|
|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.|
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.”
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 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.
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 further information and electronic copies of the images please contact:
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
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 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.
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.”
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
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for a quotation.
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.
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.
Sept. 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.
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
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
May 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.
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:
“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.
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.
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.
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.
Notes to Editors
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