Asylum Research



About Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments company

Asylum Research is the technology leader in atomic force probe microscopy (AFM) for both materials and bioscience applications.  Founded in 1999 and acquired by Oxford Instruments plc in 2012, we are dedicated to innovative instrumentation for nanoscience and nanotechnology, with over 300 years combined AFM/SPM experience among our staff. Our instruments are used for a variety of nanoscience applications in material science, physics, data storage and semiconductors, 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.

Technological Leadership and Leading Innovation
Precision and accuracy has been the driving force behind the pioneering AFM instrument innovations in flexure design, lowest-noise closed loop sensors, and full digital control. These are now requirements in any research grade AFM. Our open software, based in IGOR Pro, allows researchers the ease-of-use, and power and flexibility to take their experiments to the next level.  These innovations, just to name a few, are offered in our two main product lines-the Cypher™ and MFP-3D™ AFM Families.

See an overview brochure of our AFM product line here.

MFP-3D Family AFMs
Asylum’s MFP-3D™ family of AFMs includes four different models that span a wide range of performance, applications, and budgets. The new MFP-3D Infinity is the flagship of the family, offering the highest performance, simplest operation, and widest range of capabilities. The MFP-3D Classic, the original MFP-3D offered for mid-range budgets, provides high performance and versatility that exceeds most AFMs. The MFP-3D Origin is the most affordable model, offering the same performance as the MFP-3D Classic with many accessories and an easy upgrade path to advanced capabilities. Finally, the MFP-3D-BIO integrates with an inverted light microscope to support biological and photonic applications.

Cypher AFMs
Cypher™ is the highest resolution fast scanning AFM and is available in two configurations, the Cypher S and the Cypher ES Environmental AFM. They provide low-drift closed loop imaging for the most accurate images and measurements possible today, >20X faster imaging with small cantilevers, exceptional ease of use, and integrated thermal, acoustic and vibration control – all in a small footprint. Cypher AFMs routinely achieve higher resolution than other AFMs, as demonstrated by single point atomic defects in crystal lattices and imaging of the DNA double helix. The Cypher ES adds gas and liquid environmental control, temperature control, and enhanced chemical compatibility to the extraordinary performance of the Cypher S.

More Built-in and Advanced Scanning Modes
Our AFMs support all major AFM/SPM scanning modes and capabilities with many exclusive
advanced scanning modes for many different applications:

Customer Satisfaction
See what our customers say about Asylum Research.

Lowest Cost of Ownership and Industry-Leading Warranties

  • Flagship AFM systems (all Cypher AFMs, MFP-3D Infinity, and the MFP-3D-BIO): 2 years
  • Lower-cost AFM systems (MFP-3D Origin, MFP-3D Classic, MFP NanoIndenter): 1 year
  • Asylum accessories: 1 year or 2 years if purchased with a flagship AFM system.
  • Third-party accessories: Original manufacturer’s warranty (terms vary)

Asylum provides the best warranties and support in the AFM industry. The warranties cover all parts and labor, including shipping and any required travel expenses, for problems occurring due to normal usage. The cost is $0 to the user, making Asylum AFMs the lowest in cost of ownership. Because of our robust, reliable systems, you can be sure that the cost of ownership will remain low even beyond the warranty period. In the unlikely event that a repair is needed, you can be assured of the fastest turnaround time in the industry. Extended system warranties are priced fairly and competitively for additional predictability in the long term.

If you would like to learn more about Asylum Research AFM systems, need additional information, or would like to schedule a demonstration, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

For additional information, contact Terry Mehr, Marketing Communications Manager, Asylum Research, 6310 Hollister Avenue, Santa Barbara, CA 93117, 805-696-6466x224,,

Roger Proksch, Ph.D., President

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research, Inc. • 6310 Hollister Ave. • Santa Barbara, CA  93117 •