Dimension XR Scanning Probe Microscopes: Featuring AFM with nanoDMA

The Dimension XR scanning probe microscope (SPM) systems available from Bruker Nano Surfaces integrate years of research and technological advancement to deliver maximum capability, functionality, and performance in nanoscale analysis.

The extreme research (XR) series of SPMs for Icon® and FastScan® AFM platforms offers exclusive packaged solutions for cutting-edge studies in nanoelectrochemical, nanoelectrical, and nanomechanical characterization. In addition, the SPMs make it relatively easy to quantify materials and active nanoscale systems in fluid, air, and chemically reactive or electrical environments.

The Icon® and FastScan® platforms have three distinct Dimension XR configurations that offer cutting-edge research capabilities in improved packages:

XR Nanomechanics

  • Conducts quantifiable nanoscale characterization, ranging from stiff ceramics and metals to soft and sticky hydrogels
  • Allows correlative nanomechanics characterization to bulk DMA and nanoidentation techniques with the latest AFM-nDMA™ mode
  • Offers an array of modes to thoroughly identify the tiniest structures with spatial resolution as low as sub-molecular units of polymer chains

XR Nanoelectrical

  • Provides previously unachievable data with a single measurement
  • Offers electrical spectra in each pixel correlated with mechanical property measurements with the latest DataCube modes
  • Covers the widest range of electrical AFM methods in a single system

XR Nanoelectrochemical

  • Conducts concurrent mechanical, electrical, and electrochemical mapping in solution
  • Obtains electrochemical data with a spatial resolution of less than 100 nm
  • Allows powerful electrochemical AFM (EC-AFM) and AFM-based scanning electrochemical microscopy (AFM-SECM)

Complete Characterization with Highest Spatial Resolution

Globally, there are thousands of peer-reviewed scientific papers, but the large-sample FastScan® and Icon® AFM platforms have helped change the landscape of materials science and atomic force microscopy.

These legendary platforms have novel Dimension XR configurations that fully leverage more than three decades of AFM innovation to allow customized and out-of-the box characterization for cutting-edge nanoelectrochemical, nanoelectrical, and nanomechanics studies.

However, regardless of the type of configuration and platform selected, users will gain from the latest technological developments and the highest performance features in the industry, together with the easiest workflow and highest measurement reproducibility of any commercially available AFM.

Dimension Icon® is the most utilized large-sample AFM platform in the world that delivers excellent performance, superior productivity, and industry-leading application flexibility.

  • Excellent productivity, from one sample to multiple ones, with automated measurement recipes and rapid scanning for countless numbers of unattended measurements into preconfigured settings
  • Highest repeatability and performance with lowest drift and noise, demonstrated through an extensive publication record of scientific discovery and creation of novel materials
  • Unparalleled flexibility through correlative methods and measurement modes for small, large, or multiple samples, all on one AFM platform

Dimension FastScan® platform is the industry benchmark for the perfect balance of accuracy, resolution, scan speed, noise, and drift, rendering fast-scanning atomic force microscopy a viable commercial reality:

  • Provides the fastest scanning rates in fluid and air, with automated alignment of laser and detector, “smart engaging” for unparalleled productivity and detailed workflow
  • Integrates all the advantages of the Dimension Icon® platform with the use of Icon® scan head
  • Long tip-life and high resolution through the industry’s most accurate force control at the tip

Quantitative Analysis for Nanomechanical Applications

The configuration of the Dimension XR Nanomechanics for FastScan® and Icon® AFM systems offers a complete set of capabilities required to quantitatively and quickly define materials for their nanomechanical properties, on samples spanning from stiff ceramics and metals to soft and sticky composites and hydrogels.

Furthermore, the XR Nanomechanics bundled solution covers the entire evolution of nanoscale AFM nanomechanical measurement methods, such as the new, groundbreaking AFM nano-dynamic mechanical analysis from Bruker Nano Surfaces. This AFM is the first and only solution that ties to bulk DMA.

Revolutionary AFM-nDMA

An AFM can offer, for the first time, quantitative and complete viscoelastic analysis of polymers at the nanoscale, exploring materials at rheologically pertinent frequencies, in the linear regime. Reference frequency tracking, phase-drift correction, and proprietary dual-channel detection allow a small strain measurement in the rheologically pertinent 0.1 to 20 kHz range for nanoscale measurements of loss tangent, loss modulus, and storage modulus that link directly to bulk DMA.

Exclusive PeakForce QNM

This mode routinely enables quantitative characterization of nanomechanical characteristics—such as deformation, dissipation, adhesion, and modulus—and concurrently images sample topography at atomic-scale resolution.

The frequency-calibrated probes available from Bruker Nano Surfaces now allow defined adhesion and geometry to monitor the contact between the probe and sample with the least uncertainty during the measurements of soft and sticky materials in the range of <1 kPa to 100 GPa, while providing results with high-resolution nanoscale mapping.

FASTForce Volume

Through this mode, the operating frequency of linear ramps is extended by more than 400 Hz and this helps in bridging the frequency gap between standard Force Volume mapping and PeakForce QNM. Moreover, the overlap of operating frequencies enables nanomechanical correlative research between modes, providing greater measurement confidence while enabling analysis of property material frequency dependency.

Innovative FASTForce Volume CR

Contact resonance can measure an extensive range of moduli and serves as a robust tool for nanomechanical measurements. But, so far, its usage has been hindered by the limitations of contact mode, such as challenging analysis, slow imaging speed, and the need for dedicated hardware for acquiring full spectrum. These problems are resolved by XR Nanomechanics, offering reliable data of both viscoelastic and elastic characteristics.

Multi-Dimensional Nanoelectrical Characterization

The configuration of the Dimension XR Nanoelectrical for FastScan® and Icon® AFM systems comprises the most comprehensive range of electrical AFM methods in a single system. PeakForce KPFM™ and PeakForce TUNA™ have already established an incredible publication record of expanding materials studies, right from traditional contact-based electrical modes to correlative mechanical and electrical data.

The latest DataCube modes from Bruker Nano Surfaces now offer multidimensional nanoscale data at each pixel, concurrently capturing both mechanical and electrical properties in a single measurement.

Proprietary DataCube Modes

These modes make use of FASTForce Volume to execute a force-distance spectrum in each pixel, with a dwell time defined by users. Through high data capture rates, a range of electrical measurements is carried out during the dwell time, leading to mechanical and electrical spectra at each pixel. Through DataCube modes, complete characterization is achieved in a single experiment, which is not possible in a commercially available AFM.

Techniques Cond-uctivity Imped-ance Carrier Density Piezo-electricity Local EC Activity Potential/ Field
DataCube Mode DCUBE-TUNA
Tapping Mode   sMIM       EFM
Contact Mode TUNA



Highest Resolution Scanning Electrochemical Imaging

The configuration of the Dimension XR Nanoelectrochemical (NanoEC) for FastScan® and Icon® AFM systems offers a turnkey solution for quantitative examination of electrochemical reactions in real time. The systems make use of PeakForce SECM™ and EC-AFM modes to carry out in situ topography scans in the electrochemical cell. They are particularly developed for long-term in situ electrode analyses in volatile solvents and under electrochemical control.

Exclusive PeakForce SECM

This mode, with less than 100-nm spatial resolution, redefines what is viable in the nanoscale visualization of chemical and electrical processes in liquid.

PeakForce SECM™ considerably enhances the resolving power over conventional techniques by orders of magnitude. This facilitates entirely new studies on biosensors, corrosion science, and energy storage systems, paving the way for novel measurements on individual nanopores, nanophases, and nanoparticles. PeakForce SECM™ is the only mode that offers concurrent capture of electrochemical, topographic, mechanical, and electrical maps with nanometer-scale lateral resolution.

Premounted PeakForce SECM™ probes available from Bruker Nano Surfaces provide safe and easy handling, and the improved holder provides an electrically stable design for sensitive signal processing. The performance of highly stable probes has been illustrated for more than 10 hours of EC testing and numerous reuse cleaning cycles.

Unlimited Flexibility to Expand Research

Any Dimension XR configuration selected by users for their studies enables the addition of several other a la carte capabilities to further customize the system for their actual application requirements, both now and in the future. Together with Bruker’s various proprietary AFM methods, modes, and mode improvements, the Dimension XR systems offer the exclusive capabilities that can take nanoscale research to a whole new level.

More Modes for Higher Productivity

  • Contact Mode
  • PeakForce Tapping®
  • PhaseImaging™
  • ScanAsyst®
  • TappingMode™
  • AFM-nDMA™
  • Contact Resonance (FFV-CR)
  • Fast-Force Volume (FFV)
  • Force Modulation™ (FMM)
  • HarmoniX®
  • Lateral Force Microscopy (LFM)
  • Nano-Indentation
  • PeakForce QNM®

Dark Lift

  • DataCubes:
    • DCUBE-sMIM

Electrostatic Force (EFM)

  • LiftMode™
  • Magnetic Force (MFM)
  • PeakForce KPFM™
  • PeakForce sMIM™
  • PeakForce SSRM™
  • PeakForce TUNA™
  • Piezo Response (PFM)
  • Scanning Capacitance (SCM)
  • Scanning Spreading Resistance (SSRM)
  • STM
  • Electrochemistry (EC-AFM)

Dimension XR Configurations

    XR Nanomechanics XR Nanoelectrical XR NanoEC
Nanomechanics capabilities AFM nanoDMA (0.1 - 300 Hz) ο ο
RampScripting ο ο
MIROView ο ο
Nanoelectrical capabilities PeakForce TUNA (CAFM) ο ο
DataCube TUNA ο ο
PeakForce KPFM ο ο
Dark Lift ο ο
Electrical TUNA in Liquid ο ο
Nano-electrochemical capabilities PeakForce SECM /Electrochemistry ο ο
DataCube SECM ο ο
Other features Icon FastTapping


Legend: Standard • Optional ο

Dimension XR Specifications

  Icon Scan Head FastScan Scan Head
X-Y Scan Range (μm) ≥90 x 90 ≥35 x 35
Z Range (μm) ≥12 ≥3
Vertical Noise Floor
- RMS/Adev (pm)
≤30/25, height in appropriate environment, typical imaging BW (≤625 Hz) ≤40/32, sensor in appropriate environment (≤625 kHz)
X-Y Position Noise
- RMS/Adev, Closed-Loop (pm)
≤125/100 ≤145/116
Z Sensor Noise
- RMS/Adev (pm)
≤20/15 typical imaging BW (≤625 Hz)
System Drift <200 pm/min
Sample Size / Holder 210 mm vacuum chuck for samples ≤210 mm in diameter, ≤15 mm thick
Motorized Position 150 × 180 mm inspectable area with manually rotating chuck;
2 μm repeatability, unidirectional; 3 μm repeatability, bidirectional
Optics Auto focus and digital zoom;
<1 μm resolution;
180 to 1465 μm viewing area
Auto focus and digital zoom;
<1 μm resolution;
130 to 1040 μm viewing area
EH&S CE Certified

Dimension XR Scanning Probe Microscopes: Featuring AFM with nanoDMA

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Dimension Icon XR
Dimension FastScan XR
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A DCUBE-PFM measurement clearly shows the domains flipping at different potential levels for each discrete pixel on a BiFeO3 thin film.
(A) SEM images of the probe; (B) 1st, 25th, and 50th CVs selected from 50 continuous scans at a scan rate of 20 mV/s; (C) COMSOL simulation of 10 mM [Ru(NH3)6]3+ profile; (D) 2-hour amperometric test at –0.1 V versus AgQRE, inset magnification from 70 to 120 minutes; and (E) simulated (dashed lines) and experimental (solid lines) approaching curves. C and E images courtesy of C. Xiang and Y. Chen, Caltech.
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Open-platform hardware customization, limited only by the user’s imagination, adapts to most environments and enables the highest performance available in a commercial AFM.
Software toolboxes for MATLAB and Python, along with custom programming tools, offer exceptional flexibility while maintaining ease of use in multi-user environments.
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