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Dual AC Imaging Mode for AFM
Sep 2006
Asylum ResearchRequest Info
SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Sept. 6, 2006 -- Atomic force microcope (AFM) maker Asylum Research announces an exclusive new imaging mode, Dual AC, that goes beyond conventional phase imaging in measuring the mechanical and chemical properties of samples by employing higher resonance modes of cantilevers. The patent-pending Dual AC Mode is available only on the Asylum Research MFP-3D AFM.ARDualACGraphite.jpg
Asylum Research's Dual AC mode shows strikingly different contrast from the fundamental amplitude and phase signals that are used in AC imaging mode. In this 10-µm scan made of graphite, "A" (top left) is the height image, "B" (top right) is the fundamental amplitude, "C" (bottom left) is the fundamental phase, and "D" is the second mode (Dual AC) amplitude image. The second mode amplitude shows contrast not visible in the other channels.
"Dual AC Mode is a leap forward in characterizing materials in both air and liquid," said Roger Proksch, president of Asylum Research. "Unlike phase imaging which typically requires a choice of setpoint and drive amplitude to maximize the phase contrast, Dual AC shows increased contrast over a much wider range of imaging parameters. It also provides information on the frequency dependent mechanical properties of a surface. Because of the pioneering all-digital nature of our MFP-3D controller, Dual AC Mode was added without any hardware modifications and is available to all current MFP-3D users. It is a perfect example of how going digital allows us to bring cutting edge improvements to our customers without costly hardware upgrades."

In Dual AC, the cantilever is driven at or near two or more of its resonance frequencies. The cantilever motion is then analyzed by two quadrature digital lock-in amplifiers. The output of the lock-ins can be displayed, saved, combined with other signals, and used in user-selected feedback loops.

For more information, visit:; e-mail:

Asylum Research
6310 Hollister Ave.
Santa Barbara, CA 93117
Phone: (805) 696-6466
Fax: (805) 696-6444


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AFMAsylum Researchatomic force microscopeBasic SciencecantileverDual ACgraphiteimagingimaging modeindustrialMFP-3DProductsresonancescanning probe microscopy

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