New GetStarted feature makes imaging easier and more productive while maintaining all the benefits of Tapping Mode
23 July 2015

July 23, 2015 – Researchers sometimes struggle to get good images using atomic force microscopy (AFM) because of the complexity of optimizing imaging parameters. The new GetStarted™ feature on Oxford Instruments Asylum Research AFMs eliminates this challenge, making AFM operation much simpler and more productive. GetStarted guides users through initial setup and then automatically calculates optimal imaging parameters before the AFM even starts scanning. This ensures that you get high quality data from the first scan line and avoids the likelihood of tip and sample damage that can occur while optimizing parameters, whether manually or using one of the several auto-optimization features released in recent years. Notably, while some AFM companies have abandoned tapping mode in pursuit of ease of use, GetStarted uses conventional tapping mode and does not require special probes. Tapping mode is by far the most widely used AFM imaging mode. It remains the gold standard because it is extremely gentle, enables high speed imaging when combined with small cantilevers, and is the basis of many other modes that go beyond topography to measure nanoelectrical and nanomechanical properties of the sample.
“GetStarted will help all users of Asylum AFMs, from novices to pros, get great results,” said Nicholas Geisse, Product Line Manager for the MFP-3D AFM family. “Until now, the prevailing opinion was that tapping mode was too complex to automate, but we saw that tapping mode offers too many unique advantages to abandon it. Our scientists discovered universal principles that can guide the selection of optimal imaging parameters including free amplitude, setpoint, scan rate and gains. Using that knowledge, we found that we can consistently get excellent imaging from the very first scan lines. There’s no waiting for optimization and the settings will not drift as an algorithm continuously searches for slightly better parameters. GetStarted delivers simple operation without compromising high performance, just as you would expect from an Asylum Research AFM.”
GetStarted is included with all new Asylum Research MFP-3D Infinity and Cypher family AFMs. It is also available as a no-cost upgrade to all current owners of these AFMs. Additional information, including a video of GetStarted in action, may be found on our website at:

Image Caption: MDMO-PPV:PCBM polymer/fullerene solar cell. Phase data overlaid onto topography, 2 µm scan. Image courtesy of P. Cox, M. Glaz, S. Vorpahl, D. Ginger, University of Washington
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