Atomic Force Microscopy

The Atomic Force Microscopy laboratory offers imaging and advanced characterization of biological and non-biological samples under ambient (air, N2) or liquid (aqueous, non-aqueous) conditions.

NanoWizard 4 Bioscience AFM
Brand new Atomic Force / Light Microscope system combines an advanced optical microscope platform designed for single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy with the state of the art AFM by former JPK Instruments AG, now Bruker Inc.

The system allows for imaging in following modes:
  • contact mode with lateral force, advanced AC modes – non contact, quantitative imaging mode, phase imaging, higher harmonics, electrical and magnetic imaging modes, mechanical modes, fast force mapping
  • force-distance spectroscopy, advanced point spectroscopy modes, lithography
  • STM also for transparent samples

AFM features the following hardware:

  • independent control in 6 axis of the sample vs tip position
  • standard scan range 100 x 100 x 15 μm3, closed loop operation, fast scanning up to 100 Hz line rate with a 100 μm scanner, 980 nm low-coherence light source
  • ultra speed AFM scan range 30 x 30 x 6.5 μm3, > 300 Hz line scan, closed loop operation
  • tip assisted optics module with 100 x 100 x 15 μm3 stage scanner
  • hybride stage for calibrated positioning of the sample and scanning across 10 x 10 mm3 (motorized) plus 100 x 100 x 100 μm3 (closed loop scanner)
  • simultaneous operation with advanced optical techniques (FRET, TIRF, FLIM, FCS, single molecule detection) and with optical super-resolution microscopy (STORM/PALM/SURRF)
  • sample stage fitting any small samples up to petri dishes with temperature control

Our old workhorse originally produced by Molecular Imaging Corporation is formally retired from its active duty. We have been using the system primarily for measurements of dynamic force spectroscopy (left) and occasionally also for imaging of bacterial cells (right).

Topography images of whole cells of Gemmatimonas phototrophica (left), cell surface (middle) and a detail of the s-layer proteins (right).