AFM Modes

Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy (KPFM)

High spatial resolution surface potential measurements on a wide range of samples

Metallic and semiconducting nanostructures are used in a variety of devices, from biosensors to solar cells. Researchers are interested in analyzing the surface potential of nanostructures, surfaces, and devices, as these properties strongly affect local chemical and physical phenomena. Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy (KPFM) enables high-resolution surface potential and topography mapping of a variety of samples.

Bruker offers two KPFM modes based on TappingMode™ technology:

  • KPFM (also called Surface Potential mode)—Amplitude modulation KPFM feeds back on changes in the amplitude of the oscillating probe
  • KPFM-FM: Frequency modulation KPFM feeds back on changes to the frequency of the probe oscillation

The PeakForce KPFM™ accessory includes the above KPFM modes, as well as powerful KPFM modes based on Bruker’s patented PeakForce Tapping® technology.


Composite image of the topography and surface potential of a laser diode. 8μm scan.