nGauge Atomic Force Microscope

The nGauge AFM is the world’s only truly benchtop atomic force microscope (AFM). Produce high-quality topography images down to the nanoscale in seconds on virtually any surface—no vibration isolation table required.

The nGauge AFM unit includes the stage, electronics, AFM chips, electronic copy of the manual and training videos, and accessories in a compact carrying case.


Key Benefits and Features


Because of its small size, the nGauge AFM rejects building vibrations so it can be used on normal tables without vibration isolation. The nGauge only needs access to regular power and USB.


There is no laser alignment and the approach to the sample is fully automated, making set-up and training quick and simple.


Each nGauge AFM chip has fresh scanners and sensors, so you don’t have to worry about replacing expensive parts over time. Even better is that you can keep up to date with our latest technology simply by changing the chip!


The entire unit, including carrying case, weighs 1.5 kg—making the nGauge suitable for the classroom, cleanroom, glovebox or virtually anywhere else.


The nGauge can accommodate wide samples (up to 100 mm x 50 mm / 4” x 2”) and tall samples (up to 16 mm / 5/8”). The sample stage is also detachable, allowing you to customize the stage to suit your needs.


nGauge AFM probes are mounted onto large printed circuit boards (PCBs) that can even be handled by hand, making exchanging the probes a breeze.

Everything you need to start imaging is included

Each nGauge AFM unit includes everything you need to start imaging:

  • nGauge AFM hardware, including removable stage

  • nGauge AFM software and manual on a USB key

  • 4 nGauge AFM chips in a case

  • Tweezers

  • Power supply

  • USB cable

  • Carrying case


The two screws that hold the sample stage in place can be easily removed to allow you to customize the stage to fit your needs.

Large and modular sample stage accommodates samples of many shapes and sizes

The nGauge sample stage is large enough to accommodate most samples so that they don’t have to be cut down to size or mounted onto a special holder.

The sample stage is also detachable, making customization easy. Whether you need to integrate an XY stage for finer control, a glass slide holder or have an opening to fit an optical microscope, the nGauge can be customized to fit your needs.


Technical Specifications


AFM Specifications

Mode of operation Tapping mode, phase mode
Operation environment Ambient air, dry samples
Lateral Scanning
Maximum scan area 20 µm × 20 µm
Mininmum scan area 1 µm × 1 µm
Maximum line scan length 60 µm
Scan speed 0.15 seconds per line
XY scanner resolution <0.5 nm
Vertical scanning
Z Scanner range (Rz) 10 µm
Noise floor (dynamic) <1 nm rms
Approximate surface roughness range 10 nm – 4 µm rms
0.39 µin – 157 µin

Looking for vertical resolution? The vertical noise floor is maximum 1 nm rms, meaning that features shorter than 1 nm cannot be resolved.


1 µm = 39.37 microinch µin
1 nm = 0.03937 µin
1 µin = 1 millionth of an inch


nGauge AFM scan range. Area scan is 20 µm x 20 µm. Linear scan is 60 µm.


Sample dimensions and weight

Sample stage area 70 mm × 42 mm
Z stage travel 20 mm
Maximum sample size* 100 mm × 50 mm × 16 mm L×W×H
Maximum sample weight 1 kg

*This is the maximum recommended sample size. Lighter samples such as paper can be much larger than the stage, as long as the sample can be firmly held in place.


Hardware specifications

Unit dimensions and weight
Unit dimensions (L×W×H) 70 mm × 90 mm × 75 mm
Unit weight 450 g
Total weight (with carrying case) 1.5 kg
Communication USB
Power Supply 7.5 VDC