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High-speed image sequence of calcite dissolution in diluted hydrochloric acid at a rate of 10 images/s
High-speed image sequence of calcite dissolution in diluted hydrochloric acid at a rate of 10 images/s
Images by C. Braunsmann and T. E. Schäffer, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. Nanotechnology 21, 225705 (2010)

The observation of dynamic processes using Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) or Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) often is made impossible or is limited by the relatively long time it can take to image a sample (up to 1-2 minutes per image frame or even longer).

By increasing the speed of scanning (up to video rates) new opportunities to visualise these dynamic processes are created. This technique is often referred to as High Speed Scanning AFM (HSS-AFM) or as High-Speed AFM (HS-AFM).

NanoWorld USC AFM Cantilever

The typical spatial and time resolutions of High-Speed AFM are in the order of nanometers and milliseconds. This makes structural and functional characterization of biological processes at the single-molecule level possible.

HS-AFM enables for example the observation of the functioning of enzymes such as in the Myosin-ATP hydrolysis or the visualization of chromatic adaptations of photosynthetic membranes. It may even lead to a better understanding of the molecular processes that cause neurodegenerative diseases.

For a long time High Speed Scanning AFM was limited by two factors: the unavailability of commercial SPMs and AFMs that were able to scan at the required higher rates and the lack of dedicated AFM probes for use in such High-Speed AFM instrumentation.

On the instrumentation side we have recently seen the first systems commercialized.

At NanoWorld we want to contribute to promoting this exciting technique with our expertise in developing and manufacturing AFM probes.

This website presents information about AFM probe solutions for High Speed Scanning ranging from already commercialized AFM probes (ArrowTM UHF and NanoWorld USC) to AFM probes that are still under development (USC-SiN). You will also find an increasing number of High-Speed AFM images and videos generously provided by researchers worldwide as well as non-exhaustive lists of links and references dedicated to High-Speed AFM.