Park Systems, a leader in Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) since 1997 announced that they will debut an industry changing AFM auto image scanning mode for their AFM systems. The new SmartScan operating software for Park AFM systems will be provided at no cost to all existing Park NX AFM users and will be standard on all future equipment.

SmartScan fully automatizes AFM imaging making it very easy for anyone to take an image of a sample at nanoscale resolution and clarity comparable to one taken by an expert. SmartScan opens up the power of AFM nanoscopic tools to everyone and drastically boosts the productivity of all users. The new SmartScan operating software for Park AFM systems will be provided at no cost to all existing Park NX AFM user, and it will be standard on all future equipment from 2015.

Point and Click digital cameras revolutionized the photo world and now with the advent of SmartScan, the same is true for Atomic Force Microscopy, the powerful and versatile nanoscale microscopy technology. The easy-to-use auto mode feature eliminates the arduous operation that required a series of technically challenging and time consuming steps to moving the Z scanner down to the sample and approaching the tip few nanometers above it without crashing, and calculating the optimum scan speed that was more art than science.

“SmartScan is the next step in transformation for AFM equipment, and Park Systems is providing this upgrade at no cost to all of our existing users starting with Park NX series AFM systems,” comments Dr. Sang-il Park, CEO and founder of Park Systems. “With the Auto mode setting, AFM users can just concentrate on the data analysis and innovation that nanoscale images make available. Our mission as a leader in AFM technology is to create the simplest way to achieve accurate images, enhancing the process of enabling nanoscale advances.”

SmartScan completely automatizes all of the functions of setting up and taking the image once done manually by the operator. This means the AFM autonomously chooses the best settings for optimum scan speed for top quality image, and actuates automatically to generate the best image. With new SmartScan Auto mode, Park AFM users will get the images they need for their research without the laborious manual set up that previously hindered the set up process.

“We are so impressed with SmartScan’s capabilities to enhance our research methodology because it eliminates the extensive training and time consuming operations required to obtain AFM images. Now, we are able to just think of what we need and in the next instant, the image is available, making our AFM analytical services easier and the AFM more fun to work with,” comments, Dr. Byungman Kim, a Park AFM user.

With SmartScan mode, the AFM automatically does the frequency sweep and intelligently decides on the best amplitude/frequency setting. Then, automatically it uses this information to do FastApproach™ (patent pending) to get the Z-stage very close to the sample at shortest time, safely. From there during the scan, SmartScan utilizes Park’s patent pending AdaptiveScan™ to obtain the top quality image at much faster scan speed than conventional methods.

This story is reprinted from material from Park Systems, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.