Official Launch of the nGauge AFM
We are excited to announce the official launch of the nGauge AFM today! The nGauge is the first commercially available single-chip AFM and it is one million times smaller in volume than conventional instruments. Since the conception of ICSPI, our goal has been to give everyone access to nanometrology tools. After years of DARPA-supported research and development in collaboration with the University of Waterloo, the nGauge is ready for deployment. We have streamlined our manufacturing processes and selected the highest quality vendors for PCBs, mechatronics, and assembly of the final product over several prototype fabrication runs. The goal of this pre-order campaign is to raise sufficient funding to produce the system in large quantities, to significantly reduce the price tag of a state-of-the-art AFM.
Unlike conventional AFM that combine large, bulky piezoresistive stages, lasers and photodiodes, the nGauge integrates all the fine XYZ-actuators and sensors onto a single microchip without compromising on performance. Because of this, for the first time, you can image nanoscale samples with ease in under 3 minutes on almost any table top.
Key Benefits and Features
- Our integrated thermal piezoresistive resonant cantilevers make it possible to exchange tips and start imaging in less than a minute (no lasers to align)
- Thermal proximity sensors allow for a completely automated approach in seconds
- Electrothermal MEMS actuators precisely move the cantilever tip with low drift, enabling long-term imaging experiments
- The small size of the nGauge AFM rejects building vibrations, so our system images robustly on any table top
- An aluminum oxide tip images consistently without noticeable tip wear for over 10,000 images
- Intuitive, cross-platform software designed with the most novice user in mind, with advanced features readily accessible
For a full list of specifications, download our brochure.
We've optimized our single-chip AFM over 15+ iterations of CMOS-MEMS design, and are ready for mass production. With our years of experience designing these devices, electronics, hardware and software, we are confident in delivering the nGauge AFM to our customers. We expect to finish assembling and qualifying our devices by mid-fall. Stay tuned on this blog for further manufacturing updates.
The nGauge is expected to ship by December 2016.