Rotatable Scanning Probe Microscopy Head

scanning probe microscope

SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific (SSC Pacific) seeks commercial partners for licensing or collaborative agreements for its rotatable multi-cantilever scanning probe microscopy head, which consolidates several scanning probe tips into a rotating array. There are over 20 established types of scanning probe microscopes. Currently, each microscope requires a separate circuitry box to complete each specialized measurement (e.g., capacitance, magnetic, spreading resistance, temperature, etc.), which can cost between $30,000 to $50,000 each. SSC Pacific has developed a technology that consolidates many circuit boxes into one array that rotates to apply each measurement. Instead of removing a circuit box on the machine and replacing it with another, the user can rotate the scanning probe head and apply the next measurement to the sample. This technology allows the user to obtain more information about one sample by allowing many different tips to interact with the same measurement site. The system would also save money and materials during production by consolidating circuitry onto one machine.

Scanning probe microscopy (SPM) is a branch of the field of microscopy, which is the use of microscopes to view samples or objects. SPM involves the interaction of a scanning probe with the surface or object of interest. SPM is a general term used to describe a growing number of techniques available that use a sharp probe to measure surfaces. The growing field of SPM has benefitted various fields of research that operate on a scale from microns down to nanometers. SPM has played a part in advancements in industries such as solar, data storage, integrated circuits, chemistry, and in many medical areas of study like DNA, cell membranes and bacteria.

Benefits of SSC Pacific’s rotatable multi-cantilever scanning probe microscopy head include capability to obtain more information about the sample area under study due to the integration of different types of specialized measurements; the ability to change a circuit box quickly and with minimal disruption to sample; lower cost to produce by consolidating circuitry onto one machine; decreased cost of materials by avoiding duplication of parts; and allowing the user to obtain perfect scans every time.

For more information, please SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific at