AFM Workshop

Two Upcoming Opportunities

Learning to build AFM scanner

AFMWorkshop offers a unique opportunity to assemble your own TT AFM during two April, 2013 workshops in Signal Hill, CA and in Langen, Germany.
Why assemble your own AFM? The experience provides you with an intimate, hands-on knowledge of the instrument's design. Especially important is learning the components of - and how to properly align - the light lever force sensor, as well as constructing the XYZ piezo scanner.

Through building your own AFM you:

Are better able to operate the microscope, gain optimal performance and acquire the best images;
Can repair the microscope because you know all the parts and fittings used in its construction;
May easily modify the instrument to create unique instrumentation for your specific research.

Beyond these advantages, it's a lot of fun to build your own AFM! Transitioning within two days from a table full of pieces and parts to scanning your own images is a magical experience.
The TT AFM is suitable for imaging atomic terraces on silicon, 1nm-diameter nanoparticles, DNA, and many other demanding applications. It is used by Researchers, Educators, and Process Development Engineers.

"the workshop was a great opportunity to learn a lot more, above and beyond just reading a manual..." - Matt Ruppel, Graduate Student, Prather Research Group, University of California San Diego.


AFM for Educators

Kent State students with AFMWorkshops AFM

Kent State University students check out results from their new AFM Lab at the G.H. Brown Liquid Crystal Institute.

There's a notable trend in the use of atomic force microscopes for educational purposes. We've identified three differing objectives within this growing educational group. The types of AFMs needed - and the dollar amount budgeted for their purchase - vary depending upon which objective the educator wants to accomplish.

Do you see yourself in any of the following groups, or are your educational objectives outside these parameters?

    Group 1. Expose Students to the Nano World - These educators seek to expose students to an atomic force microscope by showing them what an AFM looks like and how it operates. Students learn that it is possible to create a magnified view of a surface with a scanning tip. Typically a few samples are imaged during this exposure time so that students directly see the nanometer-sized features on a surface. In this group, students are generally exposed to the AFM for a few hours.

    Group 2. Train Students to Operate an AFM - This group is focused on training students how to operate the AFM and how to use the instrument for measuring images of several types of samples. Often the students learn the theory of operation for an AFM, including how the instrument scans and how the feedback control works. This educational experience prepares the student for working on AFM instruments in advanced research projects and in industrial environments. This training can last anywhere from one week to an entire semester.

    Group 3. Build Student Career Potential - Preparing for a career in instrumentation design or instrument customer service, students in this group will learn about the design and construction of an AFM. This group extends into an additional category of researchers who want to modify or repair their own instruments. Students will build their own AFMs and learn how to measure images on standard reference samples. A one week intensive 40 hour course can accomplish this group's objective.

AFMWorkshop offers instrumentation and training material to meet the demands of all three educational groups. We can work with your institution to create your own optimal training program. Let us know if you see yourself reflected in any of the above - or if you find our characterizations not addressing your educational needs.

In designing a program for Group 2 and Group 3 above, along with meeting advanced research applications within the University and Corporate community, AFMWorkshop was selected as the AFM vendor and trainer of choice by Hiroshi Yokoyama, Ph.D., director of Kent State University's Glenn H. Brown Liquid Crystal Institute.

Said Dr. Yokoyama, "I'd like to provide students with a good opportunity to expose themselves to advanced analytical tools because knowing how to operate an AFM is important to pursue a science and technology career. Almost everywhere there's a lab, AFM is there."

"Our graduates are supposed to be able to operate an AFM from day one," Yokoyama continued. "Now we have five sets of AFMs (TT AFMs) and a technical training course for undergraduate and graduate students on campus. It's quite unique, and the number of students participating is increasing."

"I'm hoping that by having five AFMs available for our students and researchers, they will begin to know the really hard core details of the instrument, learn new techniques and think of entirely new opportunities that nobody else has ever thought of," Yokoyama said.

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