Atomic Force Microscopy Facility

Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) is a technique used to give information on the topographical, nanomechanical, adhesive, and frictional properties of a sample. This makes it a useful tool for a wide range of applications particularly in material and polymer science, manufacturing, and biological research.

This AFM facility is available to all researchers across the university as well as external users from other universities and industry.


JPK NanoWizard 4XP

Our system consists of a JPK NanoWizard 4XP mounted on an inverted Zeiss Axio Observer optical microscope with fluorescence. The use of a motorized precision stage allows for easy sample navigation and precise positioning. When used in conjunction with DirectTiling, it can image large areas for feature identification and overlay.

The NanoWizard 4 XP is a flexible system that combines atomic resolution and fast scanning with rates of up to 150 lines/sec and a large scan range of 100µm.

Available modes:

  • Contact Mode Imaging
  • Tapping Mode Imaging
  • PeakForce Tapping Imaging
  • Quantitative Imaging
  • Frequency Modulated Imaging
  • Fast Scan Imaging
  • Force Spectroscopy
  • Force Mapping
  • Single-Cell Force Spectroscopy
  • MicroRheology

CellHesion 200 AFM

A separate JPK CellHesion 200 AFM head is available for measuring cell-cell, cell-substrate and colloid-surface interactions. This system gives an extended z-length of 100µm, particularly suited to investigate cellular adhesion dynamics including maximum cell adhesion force, unbinding events and tether characteristics.

Accessory Modules

  • PetriDish Heater
    • Allows temperature range between RT and 60oC for liquid experiments.
    • Ports for perfusion tubes.
  • Heating Cooling Module
    • Temperature range between -30 to 120oC in air.
    • Temperature range of 0-80oC in liquid.
  • Coverslip holder
    • Closed liquid cell with coverslip bottom.
    • Allows for small volume experiments and optical clarity for fluorescent imaging.
  • Cytosurge FluidFM
    • Hollow AFM probes with the ability to handle femtoliter liquid volumes.
    • Micropipette – single cell and colloidal spectroscopy.
    • Nanosyringe – single-cell injection/extraction.
    • Nanopipette – Bacteria adhesion/nanoprinting.

Services Offered

  • Access and Training for the AFM
  • Sample Measurement
  • Experimental setup consultation
  • Data Analysis Support
JPK NanoWizard 4XP
JPK NanoWizard 4XP
AFM Mounted on an inverted microscope
AFM Mounted on an inverted microscope

Contact Name: 

Dr Laura Charlton

Contact Email: 


Centre for Science at Extreme Conditions
University of Edinburgh
Erskine Williamson Building
Peter Guthrie Tait Road
King's Buildings
United Kingdom