Contact Mode AFM Probes

Contact mode AFM, also known as repulsive or static mode is the original mode of Atomic Force Microscopy operation. The first AFM scan in 1986 was performed in contact mode and, although in the following decades it has been surpassed by tapping mode as the most widely used mode of operation, contact mode still plays an important role in AFM research.

The defining feature of contact mode AFM is that the AFM tip is scanned across the sample surface while maintaining constant physical contact. The interaction force between the AFM tip and the sample is determined by the AFM cantilever’s force constant and deflection. The force is repulsive and varies in the sub-nanonewton to low micronewton range.

In the more commonly used constant force or deflection feedback mode, the AFM feedback system detects small changes in the AFM cantilever deflection and attempts to minimize these changes by retracting or extending the AFM probe vertically via a Z-piezoactuator.  The measurement output is a 3D topography or z-height image based on the Z-piezoactuator position mapping.

In constant height mode AFM the Z-piezoactuator is disabled and the AFM probe maintains a fixed vertical position. The output is the AFM cantilever deflection mapping. Constant height mode is used for atomic resolution AFM imaging on very flat surfaces.

AFM probes with soft (C<1N/m) AFM cantilevers are used for contact mode imaging in order to achieve high deflection sensitivity while keeping the interaction force low. AFM cantilever lengths vary from several tens of micrometers to several hundred micrometers, usually 400-500µm. Between two AFM cantilevers with the same force constants, the shorter AFM cantilever offers a higher deflection sensitivity.

One of the advantages of contact mode over tapping mode is that it is easier to set up a basic contact mode scan. The operator does not need to set parameters related to the AFM cantilever oscillation. Contact mode AFM is thus more suitable as an introductory mode of operation for AFM novices.

On the other hand, achieving a good, artifact-free scan in contact mode is not as easy as in tapping mode. The effects of the vertical and lateral interaction between the AFM tip and the surface have to be taken into consideration. Frictional forces can cause premature AFM tip wear and surface damage. In addition, the AFM tip can move loose objects on the sample surface. When measuring in ambient air, AFM tip adhesion to the surface water layer is a common problem. In case the sample allows it, measuring in a liquid or in ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) helps avoid surface AFM tip sticking thus reducing image artefacts.

Nowadays contact mode is commonly used when investigating biomolecules and cells in air or liquid environments. Excellent results can be achieved even on very soft biological samples when they are scanned in a liquid with a very low pressing force.

Contact mode is also the base mode for all additional or secondary AFM techniques that require continuous physical contact between the AFM tip and the sample surface. Lateral force microscopy / friction force microscopy (LFM), conductive atomic force microscopy (C-AFM), tunneling current atomic force microscopy (TUNA), scanning spreading resistance microscopy (SSRM), scanning capacitance microscopy (SCM), etc. are carried out only in or predominantly in contact mode. Learn more about each of these techniques here.

49 results matching your criteria
HQ:XSC11/No Al

HQ:XSC11/No Al

AFM Probe with 4 Different Cantilevers for Various Applications
Coating: none
Tip Shape: Rotated
AFM Cantilevers: 4
1
2
3
4
F
15kHz
80kHz
155kHz
350kHz
C
0.2 N/m
2.7 N/m
7 N/m
42 N/m
L
500 µm
210 µm
150 µm
100 µm
All-In-One

All-In-One

AFM Probe with 4 Different AFM Cantilevers for Various Applications
Coating: none
Tip Shape: Rotated
AFM Cantilevers: 4
1
2
3
4
F
15kHz
80kHz
150kHz
350kHz
C
0.2 N/m
2.7 N/m
7.4 N/m
40 N/m
L
500 µm
210 µm
150 µm
100 µm
4XC-NN

4XC-NN

AFM Probe with 4 Different AFM Cantilevers with AFM Tips at the Very End of the AFM Cantilevers
Coating: none
Tip Shape: OPUS
AFM Cantilevers: 4
1
2
3
4
F
17kHz
75kHz
150kHz
1200kHz
C
0.3 N/m
2.5 N/m
9 N/m
100 N/m
L
500 µm
240 µm
175 µm
65 µm
PPP-CONT

PPP-CONT

Standard Contact Mode AFM Probe
Coating: none
Tip Shape: Standard
AFM Cantilever:
F
13kHz
C
0.2 N/m
L
450 µm
qp-CONT

qp-CONT

uniqprobe™ - uniform quality SPM probe for contact mode
Coating: Reflex Gold
Tip Shape: Circular symmetric
AFM Cantilever:
F
30kHz
C
0.1 N/m
L
125 µm
best of the best
qp-SCONT

qp-SCONT

uniqprobe™ - uniform quality SPM probe for soft contact mode
Coating: Reflex Gold
Tip Shape: Circular symmetric
AFM Cantilever:
F
11kHz
C
0.01 N/m
L
125 µm
CONT

CONT

Standard Contact Mode AFM Probe
Coating: none
Tip Shape: Standard
AFM Cantilever:
F
13kHz
C
0.2 N/m
L
450 µm
ESP

ESP

Standard Contact Mode AFM Probe

Coating: Reflex Aluminum
Tip Shape: Standard
AFM Cantilever:
F
13kHz
C
0.2 N/m
L
450 µm
CONTSCR

CONTSCR

Contact Mode AFM Probe with Short Cantilever
Coating: Reflex Aluminum
Tip Shape: Standard
AFM Cantilever:
F
25kHz
C
0.2 N/m
L
225 µm
Contact-G

Contact-G

Standard Contact Mode AFM Probe
Coating: none
Tip Shape: Rotated
AFM Cantilever:
F
13kHz
C
0.2 N/m
L
450 µm
best bang for your buck
SiNi

SiNi

Silicon Nitride AFM Probe with 2 Different AFM Cantilevers on Each Side of the Chip
Coating: Reflex Gold
Tip Shape: Pyramid
AFM Cantilevers: 4
1
2
F
30kHz
10kHz
C
0.27 N/m
0.06 N/m
L
100 µm
200 µm
HQ:CSC17/No Al

HQ:CSC17/No Al

Standard Contact Mode AFM Probe
Coating: none
Tip Shape: Rotated
AFM Cantilever:
F
13kHz
C
0.18 N/m
L
450 µm
HQ:CSC37/Al BS

HQ:CSC37/Al BS

AFM Probe with 3 Different Contact Mode AFM Cantilevers
Coating: Reflex Aluminum
Tip Shape: Rotated
AFM Cantilevers: 3
1
2
3
F
40kHz
20kHz
30kHz
C
0.8 N/m
0.3 N/m
0.4 N/m
L
250 µm
350 µm
300 µm
Mix and Match Box

Mix and Match Box

Mixed box: up to 400 MikroMasch AFM probes
Coating: various
Tip Shape: various
HQ:CSC38/Al BS

HQ:CSC38/Al BS

AFM Probe with 3 Different Contact Mode AFM Cantilevers
Coating: Reflex Aluminum
Tip Shape: Rotated
AFM Cantilevers: 3
1
2
3
F
20kHz
10kHz
14kHz
C
0.09 N/m
0.03 N/m
0.05 N/m
L
250 µm
350 µm
300 µm
ARROW-CONT

ARROW-CONT

Contact Mode AFM Probe with Tip at the Very End of the Cantilever
Coating: none
Tip Shape: Arrow
AFM Cantilever:
F
14kHz
C
0.2 N/m
L
450 µm
CONTSC

CONTSC

Contact Mode AFM Probe with Short Cantilever
Coating: none
Tip Shape: Standard
AFM Cantilever:
F
25kHz
C
0.2 N/m
L
225 µm
PPP-CONTAuD

PPP-CONTAuD

Gold Coated Contact Mode AFM Probe
Coating: Reflex Gold
Tip Shape: Standard
AFM Cantilever:
F
13kHz
C
0.2 N/m
L
450 µm
PPP-CONTSCAuD

PPP-CONTSCAuD

Gold Coated Contact Mode AFM Probe with Short AFM Cantilever
Coating: Reflex Gold
Tip Shape: Standard
AFM Cantilever:
F
25kHz
C
0.2 N/m
L
225 µm
ContGD-G

ContGD-G

Gold Coated Contact Mode AFM Probe
Coating: Reflex Gold
Tip Shape: Rotated
AFM Cantilever:
F
13kHz
C
0.2 N/m
L
450 µm
3