Nanotechnology & Surface Metrology

AppNano – Applied NanoStructures

nanoAnalytics - Nanotechnology

Applied NanoStructures, Inc. develops, manufactures, and supplies AFM/SPM probes as consumables for all applications and all major AFM/SPM manufacturers. Their mission is to provide the highest quality AFM Probes & SPM probes for standard, advanced and customized applications. Appnano also supplies various nanostructures including MEMS and specialized SPM probes.

Image Metrology - Nano Micrscopy software

AFM/SPM probes


  • AFM cantilevers made from silicon (Si) and silicon nitride for all AFM imaging modes
  • Colloidal probes
  • Cantilevers with Au and Al reflex coatings available (coating on detector side)
  • Overall conductive coatings and magnetic coatings available
  • Tip side Au coating available
  • Cantilevers with extremely long tips (10s of microns)
  • tipless cantilevers
  • v-shaped and beam type silicon nitride cantilevers with silicon tip
  • Appnano cantilevers come with the standard approx 3.4 x 1.6 x 0.3 mm chip size and fit in most AFMs. eg. Nanosurf, Bruker / JPK Instruments, AFM Workshop and others.
  • test grids/calibration grids and step height characterizers for AFM


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Peer Reviewed Papers

Nanomechanical Properties of Supramolecular Self-Assembled Whiskers Determined by AFM Force Mapping

Daniel Kluge, Frank Abraham, Stephan Schmidt, Hans-Werner Schmidt and Andreas Fery 3

Langmuir 26 (2010)3020–3023


In this Letter, we investigate the nanomechanical properties of self-assembled 1,3,5-benzenetrisamide whiskers with atomic force microscopy (AFM) bending experiments. We use force mapping to acquire spatially resolved force measurements over the full length of a whisker segment spanning a channel of a structured glass substrate. This allows validation of the experimental boundary conditions directly from the AFM data and a reliable determination of Young’s modulus. The presented technique can be generalized for the mechanical characterization of other one-dimensional materials.

Local electrocatalytic induction of sol–gel deposition at Pt nanoparticles

Stefanie Schwamborn, Mathieu Etienne, and Wolfgang Schuhmann

Electrochemistry Communications 13(2011)759-762


Electrochemically-assisted deposition of sol–gel materials can be locally confined at Pt nanoparticles. Pt nanoparticles have been locally deposited on glassy carbon surfaces by pulse electrodeposition using a droplet cell. Upon applying a potential for electrochemically-assisted deposition, the formed sol–gel film mirrors the region of the glassy carbon surface previously modified with Pt nanoparticles.
Research Highlights

  • Controlled and local synthesis of composite materials by means of a sequential two-step process.
  • Local deposition of sol–gel materials by means of electrocatalytic induction of pH modulation at Pt nanoparticles.
  • Droplet cell for localized Pt nanoparticle deposition on glassy carbon.

Keywords: Electrocatalysis; Hydrogen evolution reaction; Pt nanoparticles; Sol–gel; Electrochemically-assisted deposition

Polyelectrolyte multilayer capsules: nanostructure and visualisation of nanopores in the wall

Vladislav Krzyzanek, Nora Sporenberg, Ulrike Keller, Jessica Guddorf, Rudolf Reichelt and Monika Schönhoff

Soft Matter 7(2011)7034-7041


Hollow polymeric capsules prepared from Layer-by-Layer coating of colloidal templates with polyelectrolyte multilayers are promising materials for drug delivery and release applications. Details of the wall structure arising from the core dissolution process are investigated by high resolution scanning electron microscopy (SEM), using both secondary (SE) and backscattered electron (BSE) imaging modes. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) of the capsules in liquid was used as an independent technique. BSE images of the coated templates may be used for a rough estimation of the wall thickness. A freeze-drying procedure allows for the first time the investigation of dried multilayer capsules with an intact shape by SEM. Details of the nanostructure of the capsule walls are obtained, the topography shows structures on the scale of several 10 nm, corresponding to single chains. These structures are confirmed by AFM in liquid. In addition, after core dissolution single holes with sizes above 10 nm can be identified in the capsule wall. These holes are the structural property controlling the permeation and release and are here visualized for the first time. The number of holes per capsule as well as their distribution and size are analysed and discussed in their relevance for release applications.

Freestanding films of crosslinked gold nanoparticles prepared via layer-by-layer spin-coating

Hendrik Schlicke, Jan H Schröder, Martin Trebbin, Alexey Petrov, Michael Ijeh, Horst Weller and Tobias Vossmeyer

Nanotechnology 22(2011)305303


A new, extremely efficient method for the fabrication of films comprised of gold nanoparticles (GNPs) crosslinked by organic dithiols is presented in this paper. The method is based on layer-by-layer spin-coating of both components, GNPs and crosslinker, and enables the deposition of films several tens of nanometers in thickness within a few minutes. X-ray diffraction and conductance measurements reveal the proper adjustment concentration of the crosslinker solution of the critical is in order to prevent the destabilization and coalescence of particles. UV/vis spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, and conductivity measurements indicate that films prepared via layer-by-layer spin-coating are of comparable quality to coatings prepared via laborious layer-by-layer self-assembly using immersion baths. Because spin-coated films are not bound chemically to the substrate, they can be lifted-off by alkaline underetching and transferred onto 3d-electrodes to produce electrically addressable, freely suspended films. Comparative measurements of the sheet resistances indicate that the transfer process does not compromise the film quality.