WITec's alpha300 A Atomic Force Microscope for Nanoscale Surface Characterization

The WITec Atomic Force Microscope alpha300 A is a reliable, high-quality nano-imaging system integrated with a research-grade optical microscope and provides superior optical access, easy cantilever alignment and high-resolution sample survey.

WITec Atomic Force Microscopes are developed and designed to allow combination with other imaging techniques such as confocal Raman imaging. All imaging techniques can be integrated within the same microscope system. By simply rotating the microscope turret the user can then switch between the different methods. Possible combinations with AFM include luminescence, fluorescence, polarization analysis, bright field, dark field, SNOM, and Raman imaging.

Key Features

  • Surface characterization on the nanometer scale
  • Lateral resolution: down to 1 nm
  • Depth resolution: < 0.3 nm
  • Wide range of AFM modes included
  • User-friendly sample access from any direction
  • Ease-of-use in air and liquids
  • Unique cantilever technique for convenient cantilever exchange and alignment
  • Precise TrueScan™ controlled scan stages with a selectable scan range of 30 x 30 x 20 µm³; 100 x 100 x 20 µm³; or 200 x 200 x 20 µm³
  • Non-destructive imaging technique with minimal, if any, sample preparation
  • Upgradeable with confocal Raman imaging and Nearfield-Microscopy (SNOM) in one microscope

Application Examples

AFM topography image of a fully developed sternal deposit from a woodlouse (P. scaber).

Magnetic Force Measurement of PC Hard Drive. The measurements were performed using AC mode technique with magnetic tips.

Digital Pulsed Force Mode image of fossilized bacteria. The image shows the different adhesion levels of the sample surface.


Operation Modes:

  • Contact Mode
  • AC Mode (Tapping Mode)
  • Digital Pulsed Force Mode (DPFM)
  • Lift Mode™
  • Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM)
  • Electric Force Microscopy (EFM)
  • Phase Imaging
  • Force Distance Curves
  • Nano-Manipulation/Lithography
  • Lateral Force Microscopy (LFM)
  • Chemical Force Microscopy (CFM)
  • others optional

Microscope Features:

  • Research grade optical microscope with 6 x objective turret
  • Video system: eyepiece color video camera
  • LED white-light source for Köhler illumination of tip and sample
  • High sensitivity b/w video camera to view sample and AFM tip in transmission
  • Manual sample positioning in x- and y-direction, 25 mm travel
  • Microscope base with active vibration isolation system
  • Piezo-driven scan stage (scan range 100 x 100 x 20 µm; others optional)

AFM Cantilever:

  • Inertial drive cantilever mechanics for AFM sensors
  • Most commercially available AFM cantilever can be used


  • AFM sensors, Acoustic AC mode type, with reflex coating, pre-mounted on magnetic rings
  • AFM sensors, contact mode type, with reflex coating, pre-mounted on magnetic rings
  • Most commercially available sensors can be used

Sample Size:

  • Usually 120 mm in x- and y-direction, 25 mm in height (adapter for larger heights available)

Computer Interface:

  • WITec software for instrument and measurement control, data evaluation and processing