AFM and inverted light microscopy

The CombiScope Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) is an advanced research instrument that provides the entry path for researchers in biology, spectroscopy and photonics. If you work with transparent samples either in air or in liquid towards nano-scale structures and (near-field) nano-optical properties investigation, the CombiScope is the right solution for you. It perfectly combines inverted optical and atomic force microscopies and unleash all the power of both techniques providing the instrument adjustment and measurement automation, high resolution and high speed. Plus it can be easily upgraded to our Raman spectrometers.

Segment: Scientific
Manufacturing Company: HORIBA France SAS

Extraordinary productivity and easy operation

CombiScope is equipped with the fully motorized cantilever holder and photodiode positioning that provides the automated click-on-a-button laser-to-tip alignment. This option dramatically simplifies the entire system adjustment process and provides the highest level of system adjustment reproducibility. In addition, after you installed a new cantilever of the same or even different type, the same spot (within a few microns repeatability) on your sample surface can be easily found and scanned without any extra searching steps.

Top level scanner

The CombiScope utilizes the closed loop, high-dynamics, 3-axis piezo-nanopositioning scanner from the leader in precision motion control, Physik Instrumente (PI). The top-level scanner is the heart of the system which enables it to achieve very high levels of linearity, highest possible stiffness and extremely high precision motion.

1300 nm AFM laser

The use of 1300nm AFM laser eliminates any interference with VIS light-sensitive biological and semiconductor samples. It also makes it possible to perform simultaneous AFM and fluorescence or Raman scattering measurements without any crosstalk for most popular UV-VIS-NIR (364-830 nm) excitation lasers.

Integration with optics

Besides integrated inverted optical microscope such as Nikon Eclipse Ti-U and Olympus IX-71 with Phase Contrast and DIC, the CombiScope can be equipped with the head which provides the top and side simultaneous optical access with planapochromat objectives (100x, NA=0.7 and 10x, NA=0.28 respectively). This option opens up the way to combine the upright and transmission configurations to study transparent as well as non-transparent samples with optical, Raman and scanning probe microscopy techniques.

Solutions for working in liquid

The standard CombiScope’s sample holders accommodates all common sample substrates, including slides, cover slips and 35mm Petri dishes. The specially design liquid cell with heating and liquid perfusion capabilities enables for biological samples to be delicately maintained in their physiological environment and at temperatures up to 60°C.

All operating modes in one single instrument

The CombiScope comes with all modern AFM operating modes in one single instrument, without any extra costs and units, including such application-specific modes as force and electric nanolithographies, piezoelectric force microscopy (PFM), Kelvin Probe Microscopy and frequency modulation AFM (dynamic force microscopy with built-in PLL). In addition, the scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) head and Conductive AFM unit operating in the range 100fA ÷ 10uA (with 1nA, 100na and 10uA subranges software switchable and current noise of 60fA RMS for 1nA subrange) and near-field optical microscopy (SNOM) head are available as the options. Such exceptional versatility of the instrument makes it a perfect solution for nanoscience.

Measuring Modes

Contact AFM in air;
Contact AFM in liquid (optional);
Semicontact AFM in air;
Semicontact AFM in liquid (optional);
True Non-contact AFM;
Dynamic Force Microscopy (DFM, FM-AFM);
Dissipation Force Microscopy;
Top Mode;
Phase Imaging;
Lateral Force Microscopy (LFM);
Force Modulation;
Conductive AFM (optional);
I-Top mode (optional);
Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM);
Kelvin Probe (Surface Potential Microscopy);
Single-pass Kelvin Probe;
Capacitance Microscopy (SCM)
Electric Force Microscopy (EFM);
Single-pass MFM/EFM (“Plane scan”);
Force curve measurements;
Piezo Response Force Microscopy (PFM);
PFM-Top mode;
STM (optional);
Photocurrent Mapping (optional);
Volt-ampere characteristic measurements (optional).

Measuring Modes in liquid with AFM Head HE001 and Liquid cell

Contact AFM;
Semicontact AFM;
Phase Imaging;
Lateral Force Microscopy (LFM);
Force Modulation;
Force curve measurements;

Scanner and Base

Sample scanning range: 100 µm x 100 µm x 20 µm (±10 %)
Scanning type by sample: XY non-linearity 0.05 %; Z non-linearity 0.05 %
Noise: 0.1 nm RMS in XY dimension in 100 Hz bandwidth with capacitance sensors on; 0.02 nm RMS in XY dimension in 100 Hz bandwidth with capacitance sensors off; < 0.1 nm RMS Z capacitance sensor in 1000 Hz bandwidth
Resonance frequency: XY: 7 kHz (unloaded); Z: 15 kHz (unloaded)


Manual sample positioning: range 25x25mm, positioning resolution 1um;
Motorized SPM measuring head positioning: 1.6×1.6mm, positioning resolution 1um;
Motorized approach: 1.3 mm;
Sample holder for standard slides and cover glasses;
Optional Sample holder: Maximum sample size: 50.8×50.8 mm, 5 mm height with capability to choose measuring area 25x25mm in any quadrant of 50.8×50.8 mm area or in center of sample.

AFM Head HE001

Laser wavelength: 1300nm;
No registration laser influence on biological sample;
No registration laser influence on photovoltaic measurements.
Registration system noise: <0.03nm.
Fully motorized: 4 stepper motors for cantilever and photodiode automated alignment.
Free access to the probe for additional external manipulators and probes;
Top and side simultaneous optical access: planapochromat objectives 10x, NA=0.28 and 20x, NA=0.42 respectively.

Liquid cell (optional)

Manual sample positioning: range 15x15mm, positioning resolution 1um;
Holder for Petri dish dia.35mm;
Volume of liquid: 1.5-2.5 ml;
Flow-through for liquid exchange: two tubes.

Conductive AFM unit (optional)

Current range: 100fA ÷ 10uA;
3 current ranges (1nA, 100na and 10uA) switchable from program;
Voltage range: -10 ÷ +7V;
RMS current noise: less than 60fA for 1nA range.

Compatibility with inverted optical microscopes

No interference with optical imaging due to infrared laser;
Capability to install on:
Nikon Ti-E, Ti-U, Ti-S, TE2000;
Olympus IX-71, IX-81;
Phase contrast, DIC and fluorescent techniques with native optical condenser;
Upgradeability to TRIOS platform for spectroscopic and TERS operation.

Optical microscope for standalone operation (optional)

Numerical aperture: up to 0.1;
Magnification on 19″ monitor with 1/3″ CCD: from 85x to 1050x.
Horizontal field of view: from 4.5 to 0.37 mm
Manual detent zoom: 12.5x
Stand and coarse/fine focusing unit.;
Capability to use planapochromat objectives: 10x, NA=0.28 and 20x, NA=0.42 and 100x, NA=0.7 (depends on AFM head);


Automatic alignment of registration system;
Automatic configuration and presetting for standard measuring techniques;
Automatic cantilever resonance frequency adjustment;
Capability to work with force curves;
Macro language Lua for programming user functions, scripts and widgets;
Capability to program controller with DSP macro language in real time without reloading control software;
Capability to process images in coordinate space including making cross-sections, fitting and polynomial smoothing up to 8 degree;
FFT processing with capability to treat images in frequency space including filtration and analysis;
Nanolithography and nanomanipulation;
Processing up to 5000×5000 pixel images.

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