Open design for multiple optical access

The SmartSPM AFM has been designed to be easily integrated with optical instruments such as Raman spectrometers, UV-VIS adsorption spectrometers etc. The open design of the AFM head makes it possible to have the high quality optical access from the top (100X, 0.70 NA) and side (20X, 0.42 NA) using commercially available plan apo objectives.

Having the side illumination becomes very important in case of TERS (Tip Enhanced Raman Scattering) and scattering SNOM experiments as with the side illumination it is easy to get a significant Z component of the optical field. It also may be very valuable for investigation of SERS (Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering) structures. Precise alignment of the side and top objectives allows performing experiments that involve investigation of the influence of illumination conditions on TERS and SERS efficiency.

AIST-NT’s AFM head includes 1300nm registration laser, which allows to eliminate any cross-talk artifacts with the most popular Raman lasers up to 1064 nm. The IR registration laser also allows to work with the visible light-sensitive semiconductor and biological samples.