Facilities - Scanning Probe Microscopy


Professor Sy-Hwang Liou, Faculty Supervisor
Professor Dr. Lanping Yue, Specialist
Location: 013 Jorgensen Hall
University of Nebraska
Lincoln, NE 68588-0111
phone: (402) 472-2742
fax: (402) 472-6148
e-mail: lyue2@unl.edu
website: http://ncmn.unl.edu/spm/


Dr. Lanping Yue, Specialist


NCMN Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) Facility provides nanometer-scale characterization of materials by using Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM), Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), and Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM), etc. SPM can provide a wealth of information from topography, surface morphology, to magnetic phase or friction analysis, including line width, grain size, pitch and depth, roughness measurements, sectioning of surfaces, power spectral density, particle analysis, surface defects, and pattern recognition, etc.

MFM domain images

AFM image of monodispersed, sub-10nm Fe clusters produced by inert gas condensation.


The facility is equipped with:

1. EnviroScope Atomic Force Microscope (ESCOPE)

The new Digital Instruments ESCOPE combines AFM imaging with environmental controls and hermetically sealed sample chamber to perform contact, lateral force, and TappingMode atomic force microscopy in air, vacuum, or a purged gas, as well as a heating environment. With advanced environmental capabilities, users can observe sample reactions to a variety of complex environmental conditions while scanning. In addition, the new system supports STM in air or vacuum.

2. Dimension 3100 SPM system

The Digital Instruments Nanoscope IIIa Dimension 3100 SPM system is a multifunction scanning probe microscope to measure surface characteristics for a large variety of materials, such as nanoparticles, polymers, DNA, semiconductor thin films, magnetic media, optics and other advanced nanostructures.

Our MFM facility can scan samples in external magnetic fields, which is useful for magnetic domain imaging. The magnetic fields available using permanent magnets are ± 0.25 T perpendicular to the sample and ± 0.45 T parallel to the sample. The resolution of MFM tips modified by Focused-Ion-Beam (FIB) milling is around 15 nm, which is state-of-the-art capability currently.

MFM domain images of Co/Pt multi-layers with 8, 10.5, 11, and 12 Å NiO interlayers.

MFM domain images

The facility is available to all qualified researchers, who are properly trained at UNL, on payment of the appropriate charges for equipment use. Research collaborations are welcome from all UNL faculty as well as companies in Nebraska and elsewhere.