Skip to Content
Find More Like This
Return to Search

Ultrasonic-Based Mode-Synthesizing Atomic Force Microscopy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Contact ORNL About This Technology

Technology Marketing SummaryIn a single run and without damaging the sample, ORNL’s mode-synthesizing
atomic force microscopy (MSAFM), along with mode-synthesizing sensing, acquires
a variety of information and allows for new sensing modalities. ORNL’s invention uses
nonlinear nanomechanical interactions at ultrasonic frequencies to noninvasively and
nondestructively detect multiple surface and subsurface properties of materials at
the nanoscale.

DescriptionA microscope capable of nondestructively characterizing nanoscale features, or
inhomogeneities, at high resolution is critical to understanding biological processes
that lead to cell signaling, protein folding, and gene expression. Using MSAFM,
nanoscale properties such as porosity, granularity, elasticity, density, and morphology
can all be acquired simultaneously.

A major innovation in bioscience research, MSAFM is equally important for solid-state
devices. The characterization of nanoscale subsurface features poses a challenge
for the microelectronics industry, and the ability to access and detail buried
nanostructures holds great promise in applications such as detecting dopants and
defects in silicon chips.
  • Only ultrasonic-based atomic force microscopy in the industry
  • Sufficiently flexible for compatibility with spectroscopic approaches such as Raman spectroscopy
  • Easily adaptable to scanning near-field ultrasonic holography, ultrasonic force microscopy, and functional infrared emission spectral microscopy for detecting both surface and subsurface properties of nanoscale materials

Applications and Industries
  • Study plant cells or other organic systems with a variety of interrelated chemical, morphological, and mechanical properties
  • Study biological processes such as cell signaling, protein folding, and gene expression
  • Detect the vibrations and natural resonance frequencies of such multicomponent processes
  • Characterize solid-state devices whose functional units are usually protected from interactions with the environment
More InformationPatent
Ali Passian, Thomas G. Thundat, and Laurene Tetard, Mode-Synthesizing Atomic Force Microscopy and Mode-Synthesizing Sensing, U.S. Patent Application 12/726,083, filed March 17, 2010.

Lead Inventor
Ali Passian
Biosciences Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated

Contact ORNL About This Technology

To: Nestor Fronco<>