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Equipment Details
Technology Metrology
Materials Restriction General
Sample Size 8", 6", 4" wafers and pieces
Equipment Manual
Overview System Overview
Operating Procedure SOP
Maintenance Maintenance

The Bruker ICON AFM is an atomic force microscope (AFM) system that offers diverse capabilities. Some scanning modes include tapping, contact, magnetic, Kelvin Probe (KPFM), electrical, PeakForce tapping, etc. These techniques allow the surface topography and electro-mechanical properties to be mapped.

The peakforce tapping mode is the main configuration used in our system. The peakforce mode is a Bruker-patented technique that maps topography by lightly tapping the surface with an oscillating probe tip. The cantilever’s oscillation amplitude changes with sample surface topography, and the topography image is obtained by monitoring these changes and closing the z feedback loop to minimize them.

To our users: the LNF store carries the following AFM tips:

  • NCHV-A (formerly TESPA-V2) (commonly used for tapping)
  • NP-10 (commonly used for contact mode)
  • SCM-PIT (a contact modetip electrically conductive used for TUNA and Kelvin Probe measurements)
  • TESP-SS (a contact mode tip that has a very sharp and narrow shape, the tip is a few nm in diameter, recommended for precision topography or narrow features)
  • DDESP (diamond coated tapping tip).

For more information visit

Note, you can use any tip that work with this AFM, you do not have to use only the tips suggested above.


As of 5/22/24, new protocols are in place on the Bruker Icon AFM to minimize the risks of misuse and damage and the SOP has been updated. Here are the main changes:

  • An AFM probe will be left installed, and staff will change it as needed.
  • Current users should review the new SOP and request a checkout to regain access (all users’ access were removed on 5/22/24).
  • If users need an AFM tip installed differently from the Scanasyst-Air, they must request it by creating a Helpdesk ticket.


Some of the Bruker Icon AFM capabilities includeː

  • Topography mapping to measure roughness and features up to about 10 um height
  • Roughness measurements in the sub-nano, nano, and micro-scale range
  • Electrical mapping to measure currents with an applied voltage of -10 to 10 volts
  • IV measurements
  • Piezo electric measurements
  • Phase mapping to qualitatively measure changes in the properties of a sample surface
  • Automatic scanning of predefined maps

Standard operating procedure

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Checkout procedure

  1. Read through this page and the Standard Operating Procedure above.
  2. Accurately complete the checkout quiz (you may retake it if necessary).
  3. Create a Helpdesk Ticket requesting a first training with staff support.
  4. If the staff approves, practice with your mentor or a staff member.
  5. Whenever you master the system, request (i.e., use the helpdesk ticket system) a checkout with staff.
  6. Given successful completion of the quiz and checkout session, a tool engineer will authorize you on the tool.