SNOM, confocal microscopy and AFM system
alpha300 S from WITec
The alpha300 S is a user-friendly scanning nearfield optical microscope (SNOM) that combines the advantages of SNOM, confocal microscopy and atomic force microscopy (AFM) in a single instrument. Switching between the different modes can be easily done by rotating the objective turret. The alpha300 S uses unique micro-fabricated SNOM cantilever sensors for optical microscopy with spatial resolution beyond the diffraction limit.
|Spatial resolution beyond the diffraction limit (ca. 60 nm laterally)|
|Unique patented SNOM sensor technique|
|Ease-of-use in air and liquids|
|Various atomic force microscopy (AFM) modes applicable|
|Non-destructive imaging technique with minimal, if any, sample preparation|
The WITec scanning near-field optical microscope (SNOM) alpha300 S operates using a unique near-field objective. It is mounted in the objective turret and provides access to SNOM or AFM. The micro-fabricated SNOM sensors are held magnetically at the end of the objective’s arm, enabling simultaneous observation of the cantilever and sample. For quick cantilever alignment, the arm can be moved in all three dimensions by an integrated highly-precise inertial drive. The movements are controlled by the WITec Control software, which also provides convenient alignment routines. The objective not only focuses the excitation laser beam, but also the beam-deflection laser for distance control. Highly focused, ultra-stable optics guarantee low-noise measurements without interference from the two laser systems. Using standard AFM cantilevers, the alpha300 S includes full AFM capability.
Scanning near-field optical microscopy (SNOM) modes:
- bottom up and top down
Confocal microscopy (CM) modes:
- Fluorescence (optional)
- AFM operation modes of alpha300 A included or optional available
- Acquisition of force-distance curves and light-distance curves
- Fixed-bottom illumination
- Total internal reflection illumination (optional)
- Research grade optical microscope with 6 x objective turret
- Video system: eyepiece color video camera
- LED white-light source for Köhler illumination of tip and sample
- High sensitivity b/w video camera to view sample and SNOM/AFM tip in transmission
- Manual sample positioning in x- and y-direction, 25 mm travel
- Microscope base with active vibration isolation system
- Piezo-driven scan stage (scan range 100 x 100 x 20 µm; others optional)
- Usually 120 mm in x- and y-direction, 25 mm in height (adapter for larger heights available)
- WITec software for instrument and measurement control, data evaluation and processing
From measurements in liquids to solid samples or soft tissues in life science varied samples are analyzed on a regular basis. With their convenient handling and versatile analytical capabilities the flexible WITec imaging systems provide the opportunity to adjust the imaging technique to changing requirements and are particularly well-suited for life science.
The development and production of drug delivery systems requires efficient and reliable control mechanisms to ensure the quality of the final products. These products can vary widely in composition and application. Therefore analytical tools such as the WITec imaging systems that provide both comprehensive chemical characterization and the flexibility to adjust the method to the investigated specimen are preferred in pharmaceutical research.
Materials science is a diverse field including the development and testing of new substances, as well as the refinement of manufacturing processes and quality control for existing products. WITec imaging systems are particularly well-suited for comprehensive sample analyses in materials science and provide the opportunity to acquire a thorough knowledge of the sample surface morphology and chemical composition.
WITec confocal Raman imaging systems are excellent analytical tools for the comprehensive investigation of geological samples, such as the identification and characterization of minerals, or in the observation of mineral phase transitions in high and ultra-high pressure/temperature experiments.
WITec imaging systems enable comprehensive sample analysis that provides a thorough characterization of the physical and chemical properties of the polymers on the nanometer scale.
Nano-Carbon and graphene
Nano-carbon materials such as graphene or carbon nano-tubes show immense promise in many applications such as transistors, sensors, and optoelectronics. Flexible and adaptive analytical methods can support effective investigation and accelerate progress in nano-carbon & graphene research and development.