square logo

NBIC Probe Facility


The NBIC serves as an incubator for new probes of nanostructure behavior and associated instrumentation development. It is equipped with a suite of scanning probes, opto-electronic/transport tools, and optical probes that are so recently developed as not to be available on commercial instruments. The environment facilitates the development and refinement of new probe-based techniques.

AFM / NSOM with Raman Spectroscopy

AFMs attached to 532 nm laser source and optical system for Raman spectroscopy. Resolution about 300 nm.
Two full-featured microscopes allow imaging of both opaque and transparent samples. The inverted system has oil immersion lens and high numerical aperture for high-resolution optical imaging.
Near-field scanning optical microscopy(NSOM)and photomultiplier tube yield ~100 nm optical resolution.
Raman spectrometer has edge and notch filters for and a full complement of diffraction gratings.
High-resolution CCD camera is cooled for noise reduction.

  • In situ temperature measurement
  • Graphene, carbon nanotubes and other carbon materials
  • Semiconductor devices
  • Nanotubes, nanowires, and quantum dots
  • Polymers
  • Optical devices such as semiconductor lasers, waveguides, and plasmonic devices Investigation of cellular tissue, DNA, viruses and other biological objects

  AFM / NSOM with Raman Spectroscopy
Asylum AFM

MFP-3D 90 um closed-loop XY scanner.
Thermally stabilized chamber to reduce drift.

  • AC and Dual AC: Q-controlled imaging; both air and fluid.
  • Force curves in contact or AC modes, frictional force imaging.
  • Nanolithography, EFM, and scanning surface potential.
  • Conductive AFM, magnetic and piezoresponse force microscopy.
  • Scanning impedance microscopy at GHz frequencies.
  Asylum AFM
Bruker Dimension Icon AFM

Ambient AFM with large (100 μm) scanner, 8-inch sample stage, and sealed chamber for inert gas environment.

  • Electrical modulation of tip or sample stage.
  • Quantitative nanomechanics
  • PeakForce AFM
  • Tapping and torsional-resonance AFM.
  • Scanning surface potential, scanning conductivity, and tunneling microscopy.
  Bruker AFM
Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence AFM

Asylum MFP-3D

  • Total internal reflection fluorescence
  • Inverted optical microscope
  • Four laser illumination frequencies
  • Heated environmental enclosure
  • Bio-heater cell

Slideshow with additional information

  Towne TIRF-AFM
Molecular Imaging / Agilent AFM

Multi-environment AFM: Ambient, fluid cell, controlled gas.
Tip-bias control and built-in lockins electrical excitation

  • Contact and dynamic scanning modes.
  • EFM, SKPM higher harmonic imaging.
  • MAC mode for dynamic actuation in fluids.
  • Closed-loop and open loop scanners with 10μm & 100 μm range.
  Molecular Imaging / Agilent AFM
Lakeshore Probe Station

Electrical measurements in controlled environments.
Ambient, vacuum, and inert gas purge, 80-375 K.
DC and radio frequency probes.
Variable wavelength light for photo-excited phenomena.

  • 150-1200 nm monochromator with 1-2 nm precision.
  • Arc / deuterium lamps and lasers of varying wavelength.
  • Agilent impedance analyzer (5 Hz - 30 GHz)
  • Kiethley DC meter (1fA sensitivity).
  • Kiethley 6 1/2 digit multimeter.
  • SRS 30 MHz function generator.
  Lakeshore Probe Station

Omicron VT-STM/AFM with Scala Controller
Nanonis PLL/Oscillator
Oxford UHV STM with RHK Controller

  • Photon STM
  • Scanning Gate Microscopy
  • Nano Gap Electrodes
  • Low energy electron diffraction
  • Auger electron spectroscopy
  • Sputtering
  • Friction force, Conductance, and
  • Noncontact AFM
  • Scanning Kelvin Probe + Local dielectric AFM

Slideshow with additional information

Interfacial force microscope

Adhesion and friction measurements (sensitivity 10 nN-20 uN) using displacement control.
Unique feature: A novel electrostatically-driven & self-balancing sensor, which has zero compliance.
In contrast to nanoindentors and AFMs, there is no snap-in to contact.

  Interfacial force microscope
Internal Upenn Resources

In addition, the NBIC-affiliated research groups at Penn are encouraged to collaborate internally. A growing list of research expertise and instrumentation (with slideshows for individual facilities) may be found on our list of other Internal Upenn Resources page.




Nano/Bio Interface Center @ The University of Pennsylvania
Home | Participents | Research | Education | Industry | Partners | Publications | Facilities | Events | Calendar | NIRT | Members