HybriD Mode™ (HD-AFM™ Mode) is a new AFM technique that opens new dimensions to investigate the nanoworld.


Shown on graphs:
(a) Time dependency of tip trajectory (dashed) and tip-sample force interaction (solid)

(b) Force-Distance curve


In HybriD Mode™ the tip-sample distance is modulated according to the quasi-harmonic law. Thus tip enters a force interaction with the sample thousands of times per second. Force-distance curve analysis enables maps of topographical, mechanical and electrical properties of the sample to be extracted with high spatial resolution. High-performance electronic components and unique algorithms implemented in the state-of-the-art HybriD Controller provide superb level of real-time signal processing and analysis. HybriD Mode™ provides a wealth of data within a single experiment cycle, eliminates lateral forces, and provides high stability for long-term experiments.

Complex Study of Polymers

In comparison with common AFM techniques, HybriD Mode™ allows the response given by different material properties to be separated.

This is essential in studies of composite materials, e.g. polymer blends. A 3D AFM Image of Polystyrene islands in a Polyethylene matrix is shown on the left as an example.

The Elastic modulus map is overlaid with topography. PE regions (16 MPa, blue color) are seen on the top of PS islands (3 GPa, green color).

  Polystyrene islands in a Polyethylene matrix.
Scan size: 3×3 μm


Electrical Properties Characterization

Carbon Nanotubes on Silicon. (a) Topography, (b) Current, (c) Elastic Modulus


Electrical characterization of objects, which are weakly attached to the surface, has always been a challenge when using standard AFM modes like Spreading Resistance. Usually tip moves or abrades the objects of interest. HybriD Mode™ eliminates the impact of lateral forces dramatically, simplifying these experiments.

Comparison of conductive and mechanical maps shown in this example allows the clear identification of single nanotubes and bundles.

Biological Applications. Measurements in Liquid

HybridD Mode™ uniquely enables long-term experiments in liquid medium allowing the lowest force interaction and eliminating force sensor drift.

Additional information about mechanical properties of the sample significantly increases the value of experimental data. Furthermore, there is no need to determine the resonance peak of cantilever when using HybridD Mode™.

  Stem Cell fragment in Liquid
(a) Topography (b) Elastic Modulus
Elastic Modulus range: 0.2-1.5 kPa


Breaking the Force Limits

Tin-Bismuth alloy. (a) Topography, (b) Elastic Modulus, (c) Surface Potential


HybriD Mode™ uniquely enables stiff materials to be distinguished from each other by using AFM probe. Areas corresponding to Bismuth (32 GPa, light-blue color) and Tin (50 GPa, melon color) are clearly identified. The mechanical properties map corresponds well with the surface potential image.