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The Active Probe increases the speed of AFM imaging by over an order of magnitude.  By integrating a high-speed micro-actuator onto the probe, the bandwidth limitation of a conventional AFM's Z-piezo is overcome.  The probe is a MEMS device, micro-machined from bulk silicon with a piezoelectric film patterned along a portion of the cantilever.  At the free end of the cantilever is a pyramidal tip with nanometer scale sharpness, optimally shaped for high-resolution imaging.  The cantilever is capable of bending by way of biomorph actuation resulting in a controlled vertical displacement of the tip.