Atomic Force Microscope @ ALPS

Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) is a high-resolution form of scanning probe microscopy (SPM). It's resolution is in the order of fractions of a nanometer, giving access to information on the atomic level.

aim of AFM

Atomic-force microscopy (AFM), provides information on the roughness of a sample surface at a high resolution. It further allows to distinguish samples based on their mechanical properties (such as hardness and roughness). In addition to these descriptive activities an AFM can be employed in micro fabrication micro-manipulation.

AFM equipment

Several different AFM instruments are available at ALPS, on both sites in Biel-Bienne and Burgdorf,  to satisfy the needs of industrial projects and teaching. 

  • Nanosurf Nanite B
  • Nanosurf Easy Scan DFM (2x)
  • Digital Instruments Dimension 3100 AFM

These instruments can operate in various modes, contact and non-contact, magnetic force, friction mode.They offer possibility of stiching and different maximal step heights.

Inquire for detailed specs and possibilities.

AFM images

AFM Dimension 3100; Burgdorf

nanoscan dynamic force micrscope

AFM Nanite B

nanoscan STM

cylindric gem

Anti-vibration table

etched tooth surface


AFM Instruments are employed to determine sample surface topology on the micro and Nanometer scale. As one application we determined the surface topology of a  gem half cylinder. These measurement were part of the setting up of process control procedure for in coming goods.

In Kollaboration with the "Klinik für Zahnerhaltung, Präventiv- und Kindermedizin, Bern" the impact of brushing your theeth with abrasiere toothpaste was investigated.  AFM was employed to obtain a fine picture of the tooth topography.