Atomic Force Microscopes at the Imaging and Chemical Analysis Laboratory (ICAL), MSU-Bozeman

Montana State University-Bozeman, ICAL Webpage

Contact Information

Sara Zacher or Recep Avci

406 994 4199

ical@sympa.montana.edu

Bozeman

MT

Instrument Type

Atomic Force Microscopes

AFM Instrument at ICAL
AFM Instrument at ICAL[creative commons]
Provenance: Dave Mogk, Montana State University-Bozeman
Reuse: This item is offered under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ You may reuse this item for non-commercial purposes as long as you provide attribution and offer any derivative works under a similar license.

  • Cypher S Atomic Force Microscope
  • VEECO MultiMode Dimension 3100 AFM Atomic Force Microscopy

Application:

Imaging (size, shape, morphology) of materials down to a sub-micron scale, and measurement of forces present on the surfaces of materials.

Typical Use:

AFMs are used to measure the physical dimensions of engineered and natural particles on the nano-scale. Numerous forces related to a substrate can be measured such as adhesion strength, magnetic forces, mechanical properties, micro-viscosity and elasticity. AFM can also be applied to imaging of attachment of microbes to substrates under varied environmental conditions.

Bacterial Salmonella Cells Imaged by AFM
Microbial Salmonella cells imaged by AFM[creative commons]
Provenance: Dave Mogk, Montana State University-Bozeman
Reuse: This item is offered under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ You may reuse this item for non-commercial purposes as long as you provide attribution and offer any derivative works under a similar license.

Conditions for Use:

As a regional user facility, ICAL encourages users to acquire training through our Short Courses so that the design and implementation of experiments is done to meet specific user-defined research objectives. Collaboration with ICAL staff is encouraged. Submitted samples can also be analyzed on a contract basis (i.e. lab personnel will do the work). ICAL is also available to do preliminary "proof-of-concept", exploratory experiments, including optimazation of instruments to address the defined tasks, data acquistion, and data interpretation to help support future funding and collaboration opportunities.

User Fees:

Contact the lab manager for details about user fees. In general, user fees are applied only to actual beam time for instrument use and staff time.

Instrument Priorities:

Scheduling is supervised by the lab manager. In general, class demonstrations/projects are scheduled to accommodate academic schedules. External clients (other universities, government agencies, corporate) are scheduled for rapid turn-around of results. All certified users (who take our ~10 hour short courses) are authorized to sign up for instrument use 24/7 at our reservation site. We prefer certified users to design and implement their own experiments, but lab staff are available to assist independent users as needed in experiment design, instrument operation and interpretation of results. ICAL is a node of the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure program, and our mission is to extend use of these instruments to support research across the STEM disciplines in academic and corporate research. Some limited funds are available through the NNCI/MONT NSF award to support pilot research projects. Please visit https://nano.montana.edu/ for details.

Remote Use:

Remote operation is not directly possible for any of the ICAL instruments. But in response to the COVID lockdowns, we have implemented use of real-time video delivery to allow external users to observe analysis of their samples and to provide for direct interaction and decision-making as the experiments proceed.

Sample Preparation:

Flat samples are used, commonly with sample mounted on Si wafer or mica substrates. Samples can be hydrated.

Standard Collections/Lab Blanks:

Not applicable

Software:

Educational Use:

ICAL routinely offers class demonstrations and supports course projects across the STEM disciplines. We encourage interested users to take our 10 hour short courses in the operation of each instrument to become independent users of this facility as part of our professional training program. In addition,

  • Class demonstrations are available for undergraduates
  • Class demonstrations are available for K-12
  • Undergraduate student research projects are invited
  • Graduate student research projects are invited
  • Tutorials and other educational materials related to the lab are available


Support provided by:

The ICAL facility is partly funded by the NSF National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure Program, award #2025391, Montana Nanotechnology Facility (MONT)