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  • Low noise atomic step performance
  • Calibrated flexure guided closed loop nanopositioners
  • Less than 1nm out of plane motion over scan range
  • Proprietary PicoQ® low noise sensors
  • Long travel, high stability micropositioning
  • Automated calibration and initialization
  • Automated software and hardware setup
  • Adjustable parameters for experienced users
  • User-friendly probe exchange
  • Simple to install, table top design
  • Includes AFMView® software - hardware control & data acquisition
  • Image analysis software option

  • Atomic Force Microscopy
  • Phase Microscopy
  • Magnetic Force Microscopy
  • Electric Force Microscopy
  • Lateral Force Microscopy
  • Scanning Tunneling Microscopy
  • Kelvin Probe Microscopy
  • Conductive AFM
  • Electric Force Microscopy
  • Piezoelectric Force Microscopy
  • Nanolithography
  • Biological AFM

Product Description

MadAFM™ is a new sample scanning atomic force microscope (AFM) designed for ease-of-use and simple installation.   The MadAFM™ includes our industry leading closed loop nanopositioners for precision movement of the sample and probe.  Mad City Labs has designed and manufactured piezo closed loop nanopositioners for over 25 years.  Our nanopositioners offer the lowest noise and highest resolution available due to our proprietary PicoQ® sensors.   These sensors are renowned for their ultra-low noise performance.  Our nanopositioners have a proven track record with our high performance resonant probe AFMs yielding true decoupled motion with virtually undetectable out-of-plane motion.  

In addition to XYZ nanopositioners, the MadAFM integrates our intelligent control, high stability motorized micropositioners.   These micropositioners allow long range motion of the sample (XY), focus control, and motion of the AFM head (Z).   The focus, AFM head, and probe positioners are vertically aligned and coaxial which allows direct on-axis views of the sample surface and cantilever using a 1.6MP CMOS camera.   Sample illumination is via a coaxial white LED while the 635nm laser alignment is via camera aided manual operation.   MadAFM can accomodate samples up to 50mm x 50mm x 40mm in size.
MadAFM supports multiple microscopy modes (see specification table) and includes AFMView®-OD software that handles all hardware control and data acquisition.    The user-friendly software features automated calibration and initialization to allow even novice users to get up and running quickly.   The software allows advanced users to have access to specified parameters.   MadAFM™ is compatible with 3rd party analysis software MountainsSPIP® and Gwyddion. 
MadAFM is sized for table tops and simple to install with minimal user setup. 


MadAFM requires vibration and acoustic isolation which is sold separately.   All installation is by the user.

Technical Specifications

MadAFM™ Motion Control

Closed Loop Nanopositioners

(X. Y) 30 um, 65 um or 100 um, (Z) 15 um or 30 um

Mechanism, (X,Y,Z)
Piezo, flexure guided,
Position Sensors (X,Y,,Z)
Nanopositioner step size (30 um travel) 0.03 nm
Position noise floor (30 um travel) 2.7 picometers peak to peak
Micropositioners travel

25 mm (X, Y, Focus), 50 mm (Z)

Sample size (X,Y,Z) 50 mm X 50mm X 40mm
Sample weight Up to 500 grams

MadAFM™ Optics

Laser 635 nm (Class II)
Laser Alignment Manual
Camera 1.6 MP CMOS
Objective lens focal length 85mm
Sample illumination Coaxial white LED

MadAFM™ Controller

ADC 15 channels - (3) 24 bit for PicoQ sensors
DAC 11 channels, - (3) 20 bit for X,Y,Z nanopositioning
External signal signal access (I/O) 14 channels,, 12 BNC ports (including 4 TTL), 2 on Microscope
Lock-in Amplifier single channel, dual phase hybrid
Nanopositioner connector DB-50
Micropositioner connector DB-37
LED Indicators Micropositioner / (XYZ) Focus / Laser on
Software AFMView®-OD
PC connection USB 2.0


Imaging Modes

Contact AFM, Intermittent AFM, Non-Contact AFM, Constant Height AFM, Lateral Force Microscopy, Phase Microscopy

Electrical Modes

Scanning Tunneling Microscopy, Conductive AFM, I-V Spectroscopy, Electrical Force Microscopy, Kelvin Probe Microscopy, Piezoelectric Force Microscopy

Mechanical Modes

Force Modulation Microscopy, Nanolithography

Force Measurement Force Distance Spectroscopy, Force Volume Imaging

Magnetic Force MIcroscopy

* Some modes reqluire additional purchased options


Liquid Samples Open Cell Kit / Closed Cell Kit


MadAFM™ weight 37 lbs / (16.8 kg)
Microscope dimensions 10" x 11.25" x 19" / (254 mm x 286 mm /483 mm)
Controller weight 9 lbs / (4.1 kg)
Controller dimensions 16.75" x 14" x 19: / (426 mm x 356 mm x 89 mm)
Power 12 VDC / (PN: MCLPS1001)

Computer Requirements (not supplied)

CPU requirements 3.1 GHz or equivalent
RAM requirements 4 Gbytes or more
PC Connection 1 x USB 2.0 and 1 x USB 3.0
Operating System Windows 8.1/10/11 - 32 bit and 64 bit

Image Gallery

Image of 312 pm atomic steps on Si(111) substrate measured using MadAFM™ 6515, in contact mode. Image size 2 um x 2 um
Image of 1.5 nm atomic steps on SiC substrate measured using MadAFM™ 6515, in contact mode. Image size 2 um x 2 um
Calibration grid with 110nm feature height. Contact mode using MadAFM™ 6515. Image size: 30 um x 30um



Topographic image of alternating Au and Al lines (35 nm height) using MadAFM™ 6515. Image size: 10 um x 10um.
Kelvin mode, image of alternating Au and Al lines, 25 nm lift height using MadAFM™ 6515. Image size 10 um x 10um.


Topographic image of alternating Au and Al lines (35 nm height) using MadAFM™6515. Image size 10 um x 10um.
Electric Force Microscopy image of alternating Au and Al lines (35 nm height) using MadAFM™6515 Gold lines are grounded while Al lines are 1.0V. Image size 10 um x 10um.


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mclgen@madcitylabs.com       phone: 608.298.0855       fax: 608.298.9525

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