Atomic Force Microscopy Applications

BioAFM Applications Gallery: Nanoscience

Detect surface structure, property, and functionality changes in engineered nanomaterials

Atomic Resolution

Atomic Resolution

Imaged with NanoWizard® NanoScience AFM

Atomic Resolution of Mica Taken on an Optical Microscope

Atomic resolution of mica in liquid, taken on a NanoWizard NanoScience AFM/optical microscope in closed-loop xy mode. Scan size: 13 nm x 13 nm.


Imaged with NanoWizard® ULTRA Speed

True Atomic Resolution of Mica

Crystal structure (left) and true atomic resolution image (right) of mica in liquid, 5 nm scan region, imaging in closed-loop xy mode. The hexagonal unit cell is clearly resolved.

Imaged with NanoWizard ULTRA Speed AFM.


Anorganic Surfaces

Anorganic Surfaces

Imaged with NanoWizard® BioScience AFM

Gold Clusters in Water

AC mode height image of 20nm gold clusters imaged in water. The gold clusters were biotinylated and self-assembled on the surface. Imaged with a NanoWizard BioScience AFM. Scan field: 500 nm x 500 nm; Z-range: 25 nm.

Sample courtesy of:
C. Selhuber
Heidelberg University

Imaged with NanoWizard® Sense AFM

Zeolite Crystal

Height, amplitude, and 3D topography of a zeolite crystal, imaged with NanoWizard Sense AFM. The top surface of a zeolite crystal is embedded in a thermoplastic matrix. The crystal terraces can be seen on the surface.

  • Top: Height image (scan field: 30 µm x 30 µm; z-range: 1 µm)
  • Bottom left: 3D topography image (scan field: 30 µm x 30 µm)
  • Bottom right: Amplitude image (scan field: 30 µm x 30 µm)

Sample courtesy of:
Prof. Anderson
University of Manchester, UK.

Imaged with NanoWizard® Sense AFM

Anodic Aluminum

NanoWizard Sense AFM height image (3D plot) of an ordered pore array of aluminum (e.g., used as substrate for artificial lipid membranes). The pores were prepared by anodic etching in a self-organizing process.

  • Left: Height image (scan field: 2 µm x 2 µm; z-range: 75 nm)
  • Right: Height Image zoomed (scan field 500nm x 500 nm; z-range: 50 nm)

Sample courtesy of:
C. Steinem
Univ. of Regensburg

Oligomers & Nanofibers

Oligomers and Nanofibers

Imaged with NanoWizard® NanoScience AFM


Hexacontane C60H122 prepared on HOPG. Adhesion image (range: 2 nN) measured with a NanoWizard NanoScience AFM in QI™ mode. Stripes are monomolecular layers of Hexacontane.

Scan size: 250 nm × 250 nm, xy-closed loop.


Layers & Thin Films

Layers and Thin Films

Imaged with NanoWizard® NanoScience AFM

Pentacene Layers

Island growth of pentacene layers on silicon. Scan size: 2 µm x 2 µm, z-range: 29.5 nm. Taken on a NanoWizard NanoScience AFM.

  • Left: 3D topography image
  • Right: Cross-section


Imaged with NanoWizard® NanoScience AFM

​Melting of a Thin Film of Polystyrene

Melting and dewetting of a thin film of polystyrene on silicon over 40 minutes, using JPK Heating Cooling Stage - HCS™ to maintain the temperature at 45 °C. Imaged with NanoWizard NanoScience AFM.

Scan size: 4 µm x 6 µm, z-range: 56 nm.

Imaged with NanoWizard® NanoScience AFM

Crystalline Polyethylene at -120°C

Topography image of crystalline polyethylene measured at -120°C with JPK Cryostage on a NanoWizard NanoScience AFM.

  • Left: Scan size: 2 μm × 2 μm; z-range: 15 nm
  • Right: Scan size: 1 μm × 1 μm; z-range: 15 nm


Imaged with NanoWizard® NanoScience AFM

PTFE (Teflon™) Layer

Topography and elasticity of a PTFE (Teflon™) layer, imaged with NanoWizard NanoScience AFM in QI™ mode.

  • Top: Height image (Scan size: 10 µm × 10 µm; Z-range: 1.4 µm)
  • Bottom left: Elasticity image (Scan size: 10 µm × 10 µm; Elasticity range: 350 MPa)
  • Bottom right: 3D topography overlaid with elasticity (Scan size: 10 µm × 10 µm)

Sample courtesy of:
Adam Mickiewicz University
Poznan, Poland

Imaged with NanoWizard® NanoScience AFM

Langmuir Blodgett Film

NanoWizard NanoScience AFM height and phase images of a Langmuir Blodgett film. Scan field: 5 µm x 5 µm; Z-range: 10 nm

  • Left: Height image
  • Right: Phase image


Imaged with NanoWizard® ULTRA Speed

Celgard® Fast Scanning

Topography image of Celgard® with scan size 1 µm, 23 Hz line rate. Imaged with NanoWizard ULTRA Speed AFM. Scan size: 1 µm × 1 µm, Z-range: 100 nm.


Particles & Capsules

Particles and Capsules

Imaged with NanoWizard® NanoScience AFM

​Microrheology on Silica Beads

Microrheology on silica beads (d = 2 μm) partially embedded into PDMS: Overlay of topography (grayscale) and loss modulus G‘‘ (color texture) recorded at a modulation frequency of 100 Hz. Imaged with a NanoWizard NanoScience AFM

Scan size: 15 μm x 15 μm.

Imaged with NanoWizard® NanoScience AFM

Hollow Microcapsules

Height images (2 samples) of hollow microcapsules (PSS/PAH), imaged in air with the NanoWizard NanoScience AFM.

  • Top: Height image (sample 1) (Scan field: 22.9 µm x 22.9 µm; Z-range:350 nm)
  • Bottom left: Height image (sample 2) (Scan field: 7.5 µm x 7.5 µm; Z-range: 400 nm)
  • Bottom right: Height image zoomed (sample 2) (Scan field: 1 µm x 1 µm; Z-range: 0-80 nm)

Sample courtesy of:
E. Donath, Leipzig University


Imaged with NanoWizard® BioScience AFM

​Recognition Microscopy on Biotin Bead

Recognition microscopy on biotin bead (diameter 200 nm) against streptavidin functionalized cantilever, performed on a NanoWizard BioScience AFM. Force-distance curves were processed to evaluate for the typical biotin-streptavidin binding signature for binary recognition image reconstruction. Scan size: 375 nm × 375 nm.

  • Top: Height image (z-range: 50 nm)
  • Bottom left: Binary recognition image, bright spot indicates a binding event
  • Bottom right: Overlay of height and recognition


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