Development of desk-top small probe microscope for quality control and failure analysis
-Operability improved with wide area and high-speed scan-

Seiko Instruments Inc. (abbreviated: SII, COO: Irie Akio, Head Office : 8, Nakase, 1-Chome, Mihama-ku, Chiba-shi, Chiba. TEL: +81-43-211-1111) has developed a desk-top small probe microscope “Nanopics 2100”, and will start the marketing from October 1.

SII has developed and manufactured the probe microscopes for the first time in Japan. The multi-roles, scan type probe microscopes of SPI series have been widely used in the research and development divisions of public and private sectors. With technical cooperation of IBM Zurich research institute in 1998, SII has developed the desk-top small probe microscope “Nanopics” which is a breakthrough comparing with the conventional probe microscopes. The product is less expensive and excellent in operability and hence it has steadfast status established in the field of surface investigation.

The probe microscope which can observe the sample surface on nm (nano meter) level has increasingly wide applications as the technology driver of nanotechnology. On the other hand, with the multiple functions installed, the conventional probe microscopes are expensive and require mastery in the operation. Moreover, with the spread of the applicable fields of the probe microscope, the purpose of use has also further expanded to quality control and failure analysis in research and development of various industrial products. Especially, the reliability demand of the numerical values at the nano level is becoming very strong.

Considering the market trends, SII extended its specialization in the atomic force microscope (AFM), which has excellent flexibility and operability, to the development of probe microscopes. As a result the desk-top small probe microscope ” Nanopics” has been developed, which is portable and very cost effective. “Nanopics2100″ is the recent model based on ” Nanopics”. By adopting the VCM (voice coil motor), refer note 1, and optimizing the drive mechanism, excellent reliability and outstanding numerical repeatability was achieved. Moreover, by using self-detecting type cantilever, refer note 2, dependence on skill levels of a worker was completely eliminated and considerable reduction in exchange time was obtained resulting in sharp improvement in the operability.

Note 1) It is a type of magnetic actuator, which excels in the linearity over impressed current. Compared with the piezoelectric actuator, which is currently used for the common probe microscope, this actuator is excellent in broadband drive and linearity and furthermore, the miniaturization is also easy.
Note 2) In the general probe microscope, the displacement of the cantilever is detected with the laser beam, and therefore, the laser beam needs to be adjusted at the time of the cantilever exchange. On the other hand, the large reduction of exchange time is possible as the self-detection type cantilever can detect its own displacement.

[Main Features]

  • By adopting voice coil motor, a broader-base scan, up to a maximum of 800 x 800 micron is possible.
  • Refinement of drive and detector style results in high-speed scan, about 3 times that of common probe microscope.
  • It provides GUI environment with outstanding operability by adopting the operation system of Windows2000.
  • Measurement functions, such as one line scan and probe evaluation function, are strengthened.

[Main Specifications]

  • Resolution 0.3nm Z- direction
  • Specimen Size Φ60mm thickness 8.5mm
  • Size of Scanner 211(W)x211(D)x210(H) weight 8.4Kg
  • Size of Controller 210(W)x500(D)x400(H) weight 15.5Kg

October 1, 2002

[Planned Price]
6,000,000 Yen (Excluding taxes)

[Exhibition Show]
“2002 Analysis exhibition” display.
Wed., September 4th ~ Fri., 6th
Japanese convention center (Makuhari Messe)

Contact Information
Press Contact
Seiko Instruments Inc.
Corporate Strategy
Corporate Communications Dept.
Fukuda, Yako

Scientific Instruments Division
Sales 1 Dept.

Product Inquiry
Scientific Instruments Division
Sales 1 Dept.
Tel: +81-43-211-1338

The content of this news release is based on the information as of the release date. Please note that the content may not be always up-to-date.