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GETec AFSEM® Insert

Atomic Force Microscope for SEM

GETec AFSEM® Insert

AFSEM is an atomic force microscope (AFM) by GETec Microscopy, designed for integration in a SEM or Dualbeam (SEM/FIB) microscope. Its open access design allows you to simultaneously operate SEM and AFM inside the SEM vacuum chamber. The complimentary image data of AFM and SEM enable unique characterization of your sample. The combination of complementary techniques is a key success factor for gaining new insights into the micro and nano worlds. AFSEM enables you to easily combine two of the most powerful analysis techniques to greatly extend your correlative microscopy and analysis possibilities.

In situ AFM analysis in your SEM

The complimentary capabilities of AFM and SEM allow for unique characterization possibilities of your samples. AFSEM lets you simultaneously image your sample with high resolution, create true 3D-topography representations, and accurately measure heights, distances and even material properties, all while maintaining the large SEM field of view to position your AFSEM cantilever exactly where you want it. The optimized AFSEM workflow (with practically no reduction of the SEM uptime) ensures highest possible effectiveness, while the powerful control software allows for optimized and intuitive measuring, system handling, and data analysis.

Correlative SEM-AFM analysis

For product or material analysis, it is often desirable to analyze a sample with multiple techniques and look for correlations between parameters. For imaging techniques like SEM and AFM this means one should make sure to analyze the exact same area. What easier way for correlative SEM-AFM analysis than performing the AFM measurement directly inside the SEM?

GETec SEM Overview
SEM overview (A)
GETec SEM Zoom
SEM zoom (B)
GETec Correlative AFM imaging of a scratched gold surface
And correlative AFM imaging (C) of a scratched gold surface

Compatible with most SEMs without impeding normal operation

AFSEM fits into most SEM or dual beam (SEM/FIB) systems: it is mounted directly on the door of the system chamber, leaving the stage unaltered. In addition, a slim tip-scanning design in combination with self-sensing cantilevers requires only 4.5 mm space between the pole shoe of the electron column and the sample. As a result, AFSEM is compatible with a wide range of standard and optional stages, and can handle virtually any sample that fits the system chamber. This elegant design allows detection of sub-nanometer step heights in the SEM.

Many analysis techniques in parallel to AFM and SEM

Because the AFSEM design maintains full SEM functionality, it works in combination with other standard SEM analysis techniques such as FIB, FEBID, and EDX. In addition, since the sample is not scanned, relatively heavy or specialized stages — for example, for tensile stretching or nano-indentation — can be easily combined with AFSEM. From the AFM side as well, multiple modes are available through specific self-sensing cantilevers – for example, Static and Dynamic Imaging, Phase Contrast, Force Spectroscopy, Force Modulation, and Conductive AFM.

GETec AFSEM and tensile stage installed in SEM
AFSEM and tensile stage installed in SEM (A).
GETec SEM is used to localize the neck formation, quantify the degree of necking, and position the cantilever at the center of the neck
The SEM is used to localize the neck formation, quantify the degree of necking, and position the cantilever at the center of the neck (B).
GETec – Surface roughness is quantified by AFM, and surface topology characterized in further detail
Surface roughness is quantified by AFM, and surface topology characterized in further detail (C).

Intuitive handling with self-sensing cantilever technology

AFSEM offers maximum flexibility and intuitive positioning. The 3-axis coarse stage moves the cantilever into or out of the field of view of the SEM and positions the cantilever to an area of interest. The SEM stage moves the sample laterally for both AFSEM and SEM. Vertically, AFM and sample are moved together, allowing you to safely move the sample up and down without crashing the AFM cantilever.

AFSEM Components and Accessories:

  • AFSEM scan head
  • AFSEM toolkit (includes a selection of cantilevers)
  • XYZ stage for AFSEM scan head + SEM-specific adapter and feed through flange
  • Controller, HV Amplifier, Computer (all in a rack housing) + Software

Supplier Info

GETec AFSEM™ Insert

For additional product information:

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