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Posted: Aug 30, 2013

Asylum Research Introduces GetReal Automated Probe Calibration

(Nanowerk News) Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments company, announces the release of the new GetReal™ Automated Probe Calibration feature. With just one click, GetReal fully calibrates the atomic force microscope (AFM) probe sensitivity and spring constant, enabling more consistent, more accurate results. GetReal also protects the probe from damage that often occurs with conventional calibration methods, preserving the sharpest tip for the highest resolution imaging. Eliminating hassle and risk from the calibration process makes GetReal the obvious best choice. GetReal is included at no extra charge exclusively with Asylum Research MFP-3D™ and Cypher™ family AFMs. It is also available as a free software upgrade to most existing Asylum Research AFM customers.
Automated AFM Probe Calibration
“There’s a lot of emphasis on accurate, quantitative results in the AFM community, but we found that many users are skipping an essential calibration step – they either don’t calibrate the probe at all, and express the cantilever deflection in Volts, or they rely on notoriously inaccurate nominal values,” explained Ben Ohler, AFM Business Manager at Asylum Research. “GetReal provides a competitive edge to our customers, enabling them to simply, and accurately calibrate their probes every time they use their AFM, ensuring higher quality data.”
“Asylum Research pioneered the field of AFM-based force measurements and was the first to provide a commercial solution for accurately calibrating AFM cantilever spring constants,“ noted Jason Cleveland, CEO of Asylum Research. “GetReal builds on that legacy and reinforces Asylum’s position as the technology leader in AFM. It is based on years of expertise and technical developments by Asylum scientists in the field of AFM cantilever calibration.”
GetReal is based on two well-established spring constant calibration techniques, the thermal noise method and the Sader method. Though typically used independently to calibrate only the cantilever spring constant, Asylum Research co-founders and scientists Proksch and Cleveland, along with collaborators, recognized that the two methods could be used together to solve for both the cantilever sensitivity and spring constant (see M.J. Higgins, R. Proksch, J.E. Sader, M. Polcik, S. McEndoo, J.P. Cleveland, and S.P. Jarvis, Rev. Sci. Instrum., 77, 013701, 2006). GetReal is a highly automated implementation of this approach, requiring only that the user specify the probe model name and click one button to start the calibration. With no further intervention, the probe is fully calibrated and ready to use. It’s not only the simplest way to get calibrated, but it also helps protect sharp AFM tips from damage. Conventional methods require the cantilever sensitivity to be calibrated by pressing the tip against a hard surface. This can easily break the tip, reducing imaging resolution and compromising data integrity. GetReal is a completely non-contact, “no-touch” method that is inherently safe for the tip. These advantages come together with state-of-the-art accuracy, comparable to conventional methods.
For a real time demonstration, see the video at www.AsylumResearch.com/VideoTutorials.
Source: Asylum Research (press release)
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