New Application Note Describes Nanomechanical Measurements on Diverse Materials Using the Asylum Research NanomechPro Toolkit
21 April 2015

April 21, 2015 (Santa Barbara, CA) Oxford Instruments Asylum Research has released a new
application note, “The NanomechPro™ Toolkit: Nanomechanical AFM Techniques for Diverse
Materials,” written Dr. Donna Hurley, founder of Lark Scientific and former NIST project leader. The last several years have seen a surge in the development and use of techniques that enable the measurement of mechanical properties at the nanoscale. Asylum Research has been at the fore front of this activity, collaborating with outside researchers to improve existing techniques and develop new ones. The NanomechPro Toolkit is a collection of unique techniques that spans the largest modulus range, and includes techniques that measure both the elastic and viscous response, and leverages the high speed advantage of the Asylum Research Cypher AFM to make these quantitative measurements much faster than ever before possible. The application note describes the science behind each technique, advantages and disadvantages, and gives real-world examples.
“AFM nanomechanical characterization unfortunately does not have a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution,” said Dr. Hurley. “The various techniques each offer unique advantages and cover some portion of the total range of properties that researchers need to explore. The tools that comprise the NanomechPro Toolkit both span this range and together provide complementary information.”

Dr. Marta Kocun, Asylum Research post-doctoral researcher, added, “I’ve enjoyed a unique opportunity to push these nanomechanical techniques to their limits and help improve them. I find myself always reaching for different tools in the NanomechPro toolkit depending on the specifics of my sample and what I’m trying to learn about it. I could never go back to when I was restricted to just phase imaging and force mapping.”

As described in the application note, the NanomechPro Toolkit consists of both standard imaging modes that are included with every Asylum Research AFM as well as several optional techniques. The standard modes include force curves and force volume mapping, phase imaging, Bimodal Dual AC Imaging, and Loss Tangent Imaging. The optional modes include Fast Force Mapping Mode, instrumented vertical nanoindentation, force modulation imaging, AM-FM Viscoelastic Mapping Mode, and Contact Resonance Viscoelastic Mapping Mode.
The new application note can be found at:


New Nanomechanical Application Note