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First automated atomic force microscope makes the nanoworld visible in minutes

Nanoscale imaging company ICSPI’s new product set to accelerate scientific discovery

A new microscope is helping to make the nanoworld more accessible to the masses.

Nanoscale imaging company ICSPI –  a company at Velocity, University of Waterloo’s startup incubator – is releasing a new atomic force microscope (AFM) that will help researchers effortlessly collect data more quickly than other similar devices.

The new microscope is automated, a world’s first, and is significantly smaller than other AFMs, which are typically the size of an industrial oven. ICSPI’s AFM will allow scientists and engineers to effortlessly collect three-dimensional data at nanoscale, a scale so small it’s undetectable by a regular microscope.

Inserting a sample into the automated atomic force microscope.

“There’s a barrier to entry with standard AFMs because they are so frustrating to use, and the time that passes between putting a sample under the microscope and getting any data can take hours,” said David Morris, director of operations at ICSPI. “With ours, anyone can set it up and get data in minutes.”

Making nanoscale imaging more accessible is expected to have broad implications for academic and corporate R&D as well as manufacturing quality control.

Read why ICSPI’s AFM is important for science