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Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: What probe should be used for TappingMode in air?

Answer: There are many probes offered by Bruker AFM Probes that can be used for TappingMode in air. The most highly used probes for this method, in order of popularity, are: TESP, MPP-11100 (also called RTESP), MPP-21100, FESP, MPP-12100, NCHV and their reflective-coated versions.
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Q: What probes should be used for fluid imaging/biological samples?

Answer: For applications that target high resolution, the new SNL (Sharp Nitride Lever) series probes are outstanding, delivering unprecidented imaging performance. The most commonly used probes for imaging in liquid, usually in TappingMode, are in order of popularity, are: DNP, NP, NPS, DNPS and MLCT. All of these probes work well with the MultiMode but the Dimension AFM requires the DNP and DNPS.
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Q: What probe should be used for force curve applications?

Answer: The most commonly used probes for force work, in order of popularity, are: NP, NP-S, MLCT, MSCT, NP-O and the new MLCT-O (the "O" indicates a tipless cantilever).
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Q: What conductive probes does Bruker recommend?

Answer: For applications with SCM, TUNA and SSRM use SCM-PIC, SCM-PIT, DDESP, or DDESP-FM. For applications with EFM and Surface Potential use MESP, SCM-PIT, FESP or TESP.
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Q: What is the highest spring constant probe we offer?

Answer: The research probe with the highest spring constant is the MPP13100 with a spring constant of ~200 N/m. Bruker AFM Probes also offers special nanoindenting probes that have spring constants between 100-300 N/m and 300-450 N/m depending upon the model: DNISP and DNISP-HS.
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Q: What hardened probes does Bruker AFM Probes offer?

Answer: The most commonly used hardened probes are diamond coated. Bruker AFM Probes offers several hardened probes: DDESP, DDESP-FM, TESPD but Cobalt/Chrome coating are also used for hardening tips: BESP.
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Q: What STM probes does Bruker AFM Probes offer?

Answer: Bruker AFM Probes offers both Platinum/Iridium, (PT) and Tungsten, (TT) probes for STM.
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Q: What is the lowest spring constant probe that Bruker AFM Probes offers?

Answer: The lowest spring constant probes offered by Bruker AFM Probes are our "Microlever" (MSNL. MLCT and MSCT) probe lines and OBL probes. The Microlever probes have six cantilevers and the "C" cantilever is the softest of these (0.01N/m nominal).
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Q: What are the sharpest probes that Bruker AFM Probes offers?

Answer: The sharpest general-purpose probes offered by Bruker AFM Probes are the TESP or SNL lines. The ROC (radius of curvature) for each probe can be found within the probe details section of the website. We also offer DLCS and TESP-SS probes, which can be sharper, but have some limitations in application.
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Q: Does Bruker AFM Probes offer chemically modified tips or a service to attach particles to tips?

Answer: Bruker does not offer the service of chemically modifying a probe or attaching particles to the cantilever. Bruker does offer tipless cantilevers (NP-O and MLCT-O) that are popular for this kind of application.
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Q: What is the part number for the Multimode sample disks?

Answer: The part number for the 12 and 15mm diameter round stainless steel sample mounting disk are SD-101 and SD-102, respectively. We also offer a 6mm sample-mounting disk. The part number for the 6mm sample-mounting disk for MultiMode is SD-104.
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Q: Will the probes provided by Bruker AFM Probes be compatible with our home built, Omicron (STM), Quesant, Nanonics, etc. AFM?

Answer: The probes offered by Bruker AFM Probes are a standard size that will fit most AFM, and most AFM these days are designed around using these standard size probes.
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Q: What is the sensitivity of the different MFM probes to certain applications?

Answer: MFM Probes vary in design and application. As a guideline, consider the following: MESP probes have a Co alloy coating with a Magnetic moment of approximately 10 Λ-13 emu. They are approximately 400 Oe coercivity and can resolve laterally, in MFM, to around 30nm. They are a good all-purpose magnetic probe and have a good balance of resolution to phase sensitivity. They can be realigned in-situ if used in high Oe applications such as active writer characterization or on very high moment samples, such as NeBFe. They are used generally in data storage applications.

MESP-LM (Low Moment) probes are roughly 1/3 the magnetic moment of standard MESP tips. They are approximately 400 Oe coercivity and have a thinner coating, so may offer higher resolution at the expense of sensitivity (phase contrast).

MESP-HM (High Moment) probes are roughly 3 times the magnetic moment of standard MESP probes. They are approximately 400 Oe coercivity and have a much thicker coating. They produce images with higher phase contrast at the expense of lateral resolution.

MESP-LC (Low Coercivity) probes have an equal or lower magnetic moment than the standard MESP probes. They are, 1-8 Oe coercivity and are a good probe choice if magnetic sample perturbation due to stray magnetic field is a concern. These probes are likely to realign themselves with stronger samples and hence will show attracting magnetic properties instead of attracting and repulsing properties.

MESP-RC probes have an approximately equal magnetic moment to the standard MESP probes. They have 1-8 Oe coercivity. They are a good all-purpose magnetic probe and have a good balance of resolution to phase sensitivity like the MESP. These probes are much stiffer than the MESP giving a slighter cleaner phase signal on samples with sufficient magnetic response.

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Q: How do you determine if a feature is a probe artifact?

Answer: Generally probe artifacts can manifest themselves several ways. The following are some of the more common ones.

Multiple feature artifacts: Caused by broken, chipped or contaminated tips. Effectively you have two or more probe tips scanning the surface simultaneously. Some or all features may appear as multiple features, sometimes with different height and spacing.

Low resolution artifacts. Can be caused by wear or contamination on the probe that effectively blunts the tip. This causes incorrect surface roughness measurements, resulting in lower RA values as well as overall poorer lateral resolution.

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