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Highest Resolution AFM Results

Dimension XR combines PeakForce Tapping with extreme stability, unique probes technology, and Bruker’s decades of experience in developing tip scanning systems. The result is highest resolution imaging consistently, completely independent of sample size, weight, or medium – and for any application. See below for notable recent results.

Atomic defect resolution — on a large-sample system


Calcite — Dimension XR with PeakForce QNM — Image size 16nm

Demonstrating a well-known highest resolution benchmark, the image on the right shows an atomic defect in a calcite lattice imaged in liquid using PeakForce QNM. The bright bumps in the lattice are protruding oxygen atoms.  In the DMTModulus map (not shown) the defect is brighter than the surrounding area indicating greater contact stiffness there. Imaging with a FastScan D probe with PeakForce Setpoint of 30pN and 16nm scan size. 

Data acquired by Bede Pittenger, Ph.D.

2019.079 aFM defect

Small-molecule, self-assembled monolayer — on a large-sample system

2019.079 HOPG image


Methanol on HOPG — Dimension XR with TappingMode — 3nm scale bar

Demonstrating highest resolution on a delicate molecular layer, the TappingMode images here reveal the molecular structure of methanol self-assembly on HOPG. Three images show 0.5nm step and herringbone pattern with spacing 5nm, as well as 0.5nm molecular spacing (small image scale bar 3nm).  Length scale of rows suggest ordered methanol molecules tilted at different angles.  Vertical scale on the 250nm scan is 1nm. 

Images acquired by Bede Pittenger, Ph.D.

One-nanometer asperities resolved — on glass, in air


Aluminosilicate glass — Dimension XR with PeakForce Tapping — Image size 5um

This PeakForce Tapping image of aluminosilicate glass demonstrates highest resolution on an industrial sample in air. Maintaining tip sharpness is key. The blind tip reconstruction from subsequent scan shows tip end radius of about 1nm, indicating negligible tip wear on this challenging sample. Full image scan size 5um, 5000x5000 pixels.  PeakForce Setpoint 600pN, FastScan B probe.

Images acquired by Shuiqing Hu, Ph.D.


Atomic resolution even in conductive AFM — previously only possible with STM


HOPG — Dimension XR with CAFM — 0.5nm scale bar

This current map produced in TUNA mode on HOPG demonstrates “lattice resolution” with spacing of 0.25nm.  Traditionally, STM has been needed to achieve this sort of resolution in a current map. PeakForce TUNA application module, PF-TUNA probe, 60pA current range. 0.5nm scale bar on high-resolution image.

Image acquired by Hartmut Stadler, Ph.D.