Compact, Transferable and Modular Scanning Probe Microscope Head

Scanning probe microscope head 

Invention Summary:

Scanning probe microscopy (SPM) offers access to material characteristics at the nanometer scale.  However, integrating SPMs into research environments poses challenges: incompatibility with cryogenic temperature and high magnetic fields, noisy laboratory environment, and integration issues with other instruments.  Typically, these require costly solutions.

The Rutgers modular, pluggable SPM head solves many of these issues and is transferable between mK to room temperatures, from ambient to ultra-high vacuum, in a high-vibration environment (including closed-cycle cryostat), and inside the bore of a strong superconducting magnet.  Rutgers SPM head enables access to scanning tunneling microscopy, atomic force microscopy, magnetic force microscopy, and electrical transport measurements, broadening the operator's capabilities.  This SPM head can be incorporated into any existing system with simple, minor adjustments.

Market Applications:

  • Materials analysis
  • Atomic scale spectroscopy of nanomaterials
  • Atom manipulation/assembly
  • Quantum technology
  • Nano-positioning with large travel distance


  • Modular in-situ conversion between STM, AFM, MFM, transport, etc
  • Able to orient sample parallel to applied magnetic field without altering magnetic field
  • Ultra-compact design
  • Integrated or nested 3D coarse motion
  • In-situ probe and sample exchange
  • Operation in high-vibration environments

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Issued US patent (11,474,127). Available for licensing and/or search collaboration. For any business development and other collaborative partnerships contact

Patent Information:
Donghyun Lim
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Machines & Instruments