CombiScope - AFM and Inverted Light Microscopy

The CombiScope Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) from HORIBA Scientific is a sophisticated research instrument that provides the entry path for researchers focused on photonics, spectroscopy, and biology.

The CombiScope AFM is the perfect solution for users working with transparent samples either in liquid or air toward nano-scale structures and investigation of (near-field) nano-optical properties.

The CombiScope AFM ideally integrates atomic force microscopes and inverted optical microscopes and releases all the power of both methods, thus enabling instrument adjustment and measurement automation, high speed, and high resolution. Moreover, the CombiScope AFM can be easily upgraded to HORIBA’s Raman spectrometers.


Extraordinary Productivity and Easy Operation

The CombiScope AFM is fitted with the completely motorized cantilever holder and photodiode positioning that enables functions like automated click-on-a-button laser-to-tip alignment. This option streamlines the adjustment process of the whole system and offers the maximum level of system adjustment reproducibility.

Once users set up a new cantilever of the same or even a different type, the same spot (within a few microns repeatability) on their sample surface can be easily detected and scanned without the need to perform any additional searching steps.

Top Level Scanner

The CombiScope AFM makes use of the high-dynamics, closed-loop, three-axis piezo-nanopositioning scanner from Physik Instrumente (PI)—a leader in precision motion control. The top-level scanner forms the core of the system, allowing it to obtain extremely high-precision motion, very high levels of linearity, and the highest possible rigidity.

1300 nm AFM Laser

Any interference with VIS light-sensitive semiconductor and biological samples is removed with the use of the 1300 nm AFM laser. The AFM laser helps carry out concurrent fluorescence and AFM or Raman scattering measurements without any crosstalk for a majority of well-known UV-VIS-NIR (364 to 830 nm) excitation lasers.

Integration with Optics

In addition to the integrated inverted optical microscope, like the Nikon Eclipse Ti-U and Olympus IX-71 with DIC and Phase Contrast, the CombiScope can be fitted with the head that offers the top and side optical access simultaneously with planapochromat objectives (100x, NA = 0.7 and 10x, NA = 0.28, respectively).

Such an option paves the way to integrate the transmission and upright configurations to analyze both transparent and non-transparent samples with Raman, optical, and scanning probe microscopy methods.

Solutions for Working in Liquid

Sample holders of the standard CombiScope houses all general sample substrates, such as cover slips, slides, and 35 mm Petri dishes. The uniquely designed liquid cell with heating and liquid perfusion capabilities allows biological samples to be gently preserved in their physiological environment and at temperatures of up to 60 °C.

All Operating Modes in One Single Instrument

The CombiScope is provided with all the latest AFM operating modes in a single instrument, without any additional units and costs, including application-specific modes, like piezoelectric force microscopy (PFM), force and electric nanolithographies, frequency modulation AFM (dynamic force microscopy with built-in PLL), and Kelvin Probe Microscopy.

The scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) head and Conductive AFM unit, working in the range 100 fA ÷ 10 µA (with 1 nA, 100 nA, and 10 µA sub-ranges software switchable and current noise of 60 fA RMS for 1 nA sub-range) and near-field optical microscopy (SNOM) head, are also available as options. Such exceptional versatility makes the instrument an ideal solution for nanoscience.

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