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SPM: Park XE-70 & Park XE-100

Overview

Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) generally refers to a set of surface characterization techniques that utilize micro-machined cantilever probes with sharp tips to scan the sample surface.  Since its inception in the 1980s, SPM has evolved into one of the most powerful tools for nanoscale measurement and imaging.  High resolution topographical surface characterization is perhaps the most common use of the SPM, but a wide range of advanced SPM modes are also available to study the electrical, magnetic, and mechanical properties of surfaces. 

We have two Park Systems scanning probe microscopes, an XE-70 and an XE-100.  Unlike conventional tube scanner technology, the Park systems feature decoupled flexure-guided X, Y and Z scanners with zero background curvature.  The Z-servo response is also considerably higher than that of conventional tube scanners, thus enabling true Non-Contact mode.  The machine accommodates samples up to 100 mm in diameter and has a maximum scan size of 50 X 50 μm (5 X 5 μm in low-voltage mode).  The Z range is 12 μm (1.7 μm in low-voltage mode).  The XE-70 setup includes direct on-axis optics with manual Z focus stage.  Additionally, the XE-100 has automated Z control with the “Focus Follow” feature. 

The Park microscopes are situated on vibration isolation systems and within hermetically sealed acoustic enclosures to ensure a very low noise floor for high resolution imaging.  The XE-70 is dedicated to Non-Contact AFM mode, and Park-approved ACTA tips are provided.   The XE-100 can be utilized for a variety of specialized modes, including:

  • Contact AFM
  • True Non-Contact AFM
  • Lateral Force Microscopy  
  • Force Distance Spectroscopy
  • Phase Imaging
  • Conductive Atomic Force (I-AFM) Microscopy
  • Electric Force Microscopy (EFM, DC-EFM, External EFM)
  • Force Modulation Microscopy

The Park XE-100 microscope also features a dynamic liquid cell for fluid imaging and a heating stage for controlled elevated temperature studies (up to 250 °C). 

Contact Information

nano-spmstaff@lists.stanford.edu

Getting Started

Basic training for SPM requires one 2-hour group session followed by a second, one-on-one session, ideally with the trainee’s own sample.  Those interested in training should contact the SPM lab managers to make an appointment.  Additional training in specific SPM techniques will be available on as as-needed basis following completion of the basic training.

In order to become a qualified user on the tool, you need to follow each of these steps in the order as listed here:

Research Examples

left image: MFM image showing four different sizes of bit patterns of a perpendicular magnetic recording media (hard disk). scan size 5x5 um. Credit: Roy Kim

right image: image of atomically flat surface. The step height is just one lattice unit cell! (0.4nm). Credit: Zixuan Guan

More Information

Training videos