Asylum Research


Cypher ES™ Environmental AFM
The Newest Member
of the Cypher™ AFM Family

Control Your Environment

  • Temperature Control
  • Fluid or Gas Perfusion
  • Broad Chemical Compatibility




Run in Any Environment

Modular Design for Maximum Flexibility

blueDrive™ Photothermal Excitation


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Cypher ES AFM
Environmental Control

Cypher is the first commercial AFM to take advantage of the high bandwidth and low noise performance of smaller cantilevers, and is the only commercial AFM to routinely resolve atomic point defects and the DNA helix. Now, Asylum Research introduces the Cypher ES, which adds full environmental control to the Cypher family. The heart of the Cypher ES is based around a cell constructed of inert materials, such as fused silica and FFKM, to enclose and control the sample environment. The modular design allows customization for measurements in nearly any environment.



Run Cypher ES in Any Environment


Gas/Fluid Perfusion in a Sealed Cell

  • Multiple ports for flow-through of gas and/or fluid

  • Perfusion may be performed in a droplet to minimize sample volume (<20µL) and cell cleaning

  • Simple gravity driven perfusion – no pumps are required


Integrated Temperature Control

  • Modular sample stages enable precise temperature control in several temperature ranges

  • No external boxes, additional electronics, or cooling pumps are required


Broad Chemical Compatibility

  • Ensuring chemical compatibility even in the harshest environments, cells are constructed with inert materials:

        - Fused silica

        - Perfluoroelastomer (FFKM)

        - PEEK

  • Suitable for solvents, acids, bases, buffers, inert gases




A) Sealed cell with fluid droplet

B) Cantilever-sample interface
     in droplet with perfusion tubes



User changeable sample stage for cooling/heating



Modular Design for Maximum Flexibility

The sealed cell is constructed from three components: cantilever holder, cell body, and sample stage. See below for specifications of the different versions of each component.


Sealed Cell

  • Modular and interchangeable

  • Supports positive pressure (up to 5psig) for gas/fluid perfusion

  • Fluid volumes as small as 20µL





Exploded View of Cell Components

Cantilever Holder

  • Fluid perfusion ports

  • Fused silica construction


Cell Body

  • Gas perfusion ports

  • Electrical feedthroughs

  • Fused silica construction


Sample Stage

  • Integrated cooling/heating in several temperature ranges

  • Variable material construction

  • FFKM diaphragm for distortion-free imaging



blueDrive Photothermal Excitation

The blueDrive Photothermal Excitation option makes tapping mode imaging simpler, more stable, and more quantitative. blueDrive produces an almost ideal cantilever response by directly exciting the cantilever photothermally. This provides significant ease of use and performance benefits for imaging topography, mechanical, electrical, and magnetic properties in air and liquids.



The cell is comprised of three user-selected components: cantilever holder, cell body, and sample stage. All components are compatible and interchangeable.


Cantilever Holders


  • Gas environments only

  • Electrical connection to cantilever

  • C-AFM compatible

  • Materials: Fused Silica, FFKM, Stainless Steel


  • Fluid environments only

  • Two fluid ports for perfusion

  • Electrical connection to cantilever

  • C-AFM compatible (with Stainless Steel clip)

  • Materials: Fused Silica, FFKM, and PEEK or Stainless Steel

High Voltage

  • Gas environments only

  • Isolated high voltage electrical connection to cantilever

  • Not C-AFM compatible

  • Materials: Fused Silica, FFKM, Stainless Steel


  • Gas or fluid environments

  • Two fluid ports for perfusion

  • Materials: Fused Silica, FFKM, Stainless Steel, Epoxy


Cell Bodies


  • Gas or droplet fluid environments

  • Two gas ports for perfusion

  • Three electrical connections to sample
    (required for C-AFM)

  • Materials: Fused Silica, Nickel, Epoxy


  • Gas or fluid environments

  • Two gas ports for perfusion

  • No electrical connections
    (not compatible with C-AFM)

  • Materials: Fused Silica


Sample Stages


  • Gas environments only

  • Ambient - 250°C

  • Materials: FFKM, Ceramic


  • Gas or fluid environments

  • 0°C - 120°C

  • Materials: FFKM, Anodized Aluminum


  • Gas or fluid environments

  • Ambient temperature only

  • Materials: FFKM, Stainless Steel


Side Door

  • Multiple feedthroughs for easy connection of gas/fluid perfusion lines  

  • Multiple syringe ports

  • Adjustable gravity flow stand

  • Optional flowmeter for controlling gas perfusion rates



Scan Range

  • XY range is 30µm

  • Z range is 5µm

XYZ Sensor Noise*

  • Digital LVDT sensors

  • XY noise is <60pm

  • Z noise is <50pm

  • Closed loop scan performance achieves lattice resolution (<10nm scans)
    with feedback gains equivalent to large scan (>1µm) values

XYZ Open Loop Noise

  • XY: <8pm Adev in a 1Hz to 10kHz BW

  • Z: <4pm Adev in a 1Hz to 10kHz BW

XY Drift

  • <20/200nm per °C (with/without temperature control module)

Out-of-Plane Motion

  • <3nm over closed loop scan range

Sample Dimensions

  • 15/6mm (diameter/thickness)


*Noise measurements are quoted as average deviation (Adev) in a 0.1Hz to 1kHz bandwidth unless otherwise noted.

Preliminary specifications. Subject to change.

Cypher ES is a Class 1 Laser Product.

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Cypher ES Brochure

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Cypher Brochure

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Cypher Specifications

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