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Posted: Jul 13, 2015

Park SmartScan Revolutionizes AFM Imaging with Point and Click Images

(Nanowerk News) Park Systems, a leader in Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) since 1997 is now shipping Park SmartScan, powerful and first of a kind AFM nanoscopic tool that drastically boosts productivity by creating point and click reliable nanoscale images. The new SmartScan operating software for Park AFM systems revolutionizes Atomic Force Microscopy by automatizing the imaging process, transforming how AFM effectively provides digital nanoscale imaging. Park’s newly launched SmartScan operating software, only available on Park AFM, lets even inexperienced, untrained users produce high quality nanoscale imaging through a single click of a mouse in auto mode to achieve reliable images in five times the normal speed of a traditional AFM.
The easy-to-use auto mode feature eliminates the arduous operation that required a series of technically challenging steps to moving the Z scanner down to the sample and approaching the tip few nanometers above it without crashing, and calculating the optimum scan speed that was more art than science.
"Using SmartScan AFM by Park Systems is very easy, allowing me to take images of a sample at nanoscale resolution without the laborious manual set up. With SmartScan mode, the AFM automatically does the frequency sweep and intelligently decides on the best amplitude/frequency setting and the images are as impressive as if they were done by an expert AFM user, which makes my research even better. I am very happy that SmartScan is available." Jimmin Kim from Rutgers University.
SmartScan completely automatizes all of the functions of setting up and taking the image once done manually by the operator. This means the AFM makes decisions on how to set up the microscope imaging equipment for you to create the optimum image. With new SmartScan Auto mode, Park AFM users will get the images they need for their research without the laborious manual set up that previously hindered the set up process.
“SmartScan offers great advantages to novice AFM users because it is so easy to produce a simple non-contact mode topography image,” comments Sibel Leblebici an opto electronic researcher at the Molecular Foundry of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where they use Park AFM equipment to explore the development of next generation light harvesting materials. “We rely heavily on the PinPoint scan mode for conductive AFM. The ability to see a representative approach-retract curve performed in the PinPoint mode makes it much easier to select parameters to perform a high quality conductive AFM measurement. The user interface in SmartScan is much easier to use because it is more intuitive and as a result, training new AFM users is much easier.”
Scripting and Macros of SmartScan provides you with a powerful scripting tool to design advanced experiments requiring high data acquisition flexibility. Furthermore, SmartScan comes with built-in macros that can be easily loaded and applied for repeating operations, such as moving the XY or the Z stage to a specific location, or resetting the operation. You can edit existing macros or create new ones as needed, and you can tweak settings in real-time using scripts to automate many parts of microscopy use.
“We are so impressed with SmartScan’s capabilities to enhance our research methodology because it eliminates the extensive training and time consuming operations required to obtain AFM images. Now, we are able to just think of what we need and in the next instant, the image is available, making our AFM analytical services easier and the AFM more fun to work with,” comments, Dr. Byungki Kim, a Park AFM user.
With SmartScan mode, the AFM automatically does the frequency sweep and intelligently decides on the best amplitude/frequency setting. Then, automatically it uses this information to do FastApproach™ (patent pending) to get the Z-stage very close to the sample at shortest time period, safely. From there during the scan, SmartScan utilizes Park’s patent pending AdaptiveScan™ to obtain the top quality image at much faster scan speed typically up to five times than conventional methods. This new scanning speed will greatly enhance the productivity in both academic research and in manufacturing defect review and analysis process using Park AFM equipment.
About Park Systems
Park Systems is a world-leading manufacturer of atomic force microscopy (AFM) systems with a complete range of products for researchers and industry engineers in chemistry, materials, physics, life sciences, and semiconductor and data storage industries. Park’s products are used by over a thousand of institutions and corporations worldwide. Park’s AFM provides highest data accuracy at nanoscale resolution, superior productivity, and lowest operating cost thanks to its unique technology and innovative engineering. Park Systems, Inc. is headquartered in Santa Clara, California with its global manufacturing, and R&D headquarters in Korea. Park’s products are sold and supported worldwide with regional headquarters in the US, Korea, Japan, and Singapore, and distribution partners throughout Europe, Asia, and America. Please visit or call 408-986-1110 for more information
Source: Park Systems (press release)
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