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Asylum Research AFM

  1. Jun 2, 2008 #1


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    Hey everyone,

    This summer I'm working with an Asylum MFP3D Atomic Force Microscope as part of my research. One of the grad students I'm working with is interested in making custom force plots with the 'Force Maverick" Panel built into the software. I'm trying to figure out how that panel works, and it has to be one of the most user un-friendly programs I have ever seen. Even the help file is only slightly enlightening on how to use the Force Maverick window.

    If anyone has ever used this company's product and knows what I'm talking about, and has used the force maverick window successfully to generate a custom force plot (that's a lot of "and"s) , I would be grateful if you can offer some advice onto how that panel works. If so, can you please post here and maybe we can discuss the program through PM?

    I know this is a long shot, as Asylum is a small company, but I thought it would be worth a try. If there is an answer anywhere, someone on PF is bound to have it!
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 11, 2008 #2

    I'm writing from Asylum Research. We were just made aware of this post earlier today (11 Aug 2008).

    I'm sorry to hear that you are having problems using the software and that the Help file was not useful.

    If you don't mind, could you send this question and some more specific details to support _at_ AsylumResearch.com (replacing the _at_ with @)? Once you do that our support scientists will all be able to take a look at your questions and the best-qualified one will be able to help you. If you need immediate assistance please feel free to give us a call, 888-472-2795, and ask for technical support on force maverick. Those methods are better than contacting a specific person as people may be out of the office for days or weeks at a time. Just so you know, it may be helpful if you could tell us where you are and what software version (of Igor, and our software; you can see this in the title bar of the Igor Window) you are running.

    We are indeed a small company but we take customer support very seriously, regardless of when the system was originally purchased. We endeavor to have all support inquiries answered within 24 hours, though sometimes it may take a little longer depending on the difficulty of the question or the day of the week/holiday schedule.

    Anyway, drop us a line if you can and we'll do our best to get you going.


    Nick Geisse
    Asylum Research
  4. Aug 11, 2008 #3
    Did you try to contact Asylum? I use the same instrument and their support is excellent. Go to their web page and read on the support section, you can either email them or call them: if you are on the instrument they will get online and walk you through step by step on software, hardware and application issues. I have used the force maverick a few times -it did take some learning at the beginning but now I can do custom experiments that I can not run in any of the AFMs we have on campus because they do not allow that level of control and customization.

    Cheers and good luck!

  5. Aug 16, 2008 #4
    Holy crap, Asylum is on their game.
    I always saw that the AFM software was complex and really hard to get to know, considering the fact that I know how to operate SEM, TEM, and Confocal Microscopes. Asylum's AFM seems extremely complicated. I haven't experience with other AFMs, however. Is there a decent guide on how to use the software available for download?
  6. Aug 17, 2008 #5

    Yeah, AFM software can be pretty complex, especially if you haven't used one much before. But AFMs are pretty complex instruments ;)

    Our AFM might seem a bit complicated at first because it is designed to be super-flexible (like the original poster said), so that you can really push the performance envelope of the machine rather than be limited to a couple of routine procedures. It comes out of the philosophy of the scientific staff of the company; we get annoyed when instruments don't let you do what you want to do.

    The nice thing is that if you are just doing some routine AFM you can use a simplified interface; this is really great for when you have multi-user facilities or are training students. So a lot of the "complicated" parts are there and easily accessible, but can be more or less under the hood so it doesn't get in the way of doing your science. In fact, i've asked this question of a lot of our customers (ranging from the hard core physicists to straight up biologists and AFM-jocks to newbies), and the vast majority say that our software interface is very "user friendly" (of course, i do work for the company- we always encourage people to talk to our customers to get information straight form the source). Of course, you can ignore that completely and access pretty much every feature imaginable (as well as code up some of your own) if you like.

    There are two parts of the software; IgorPRO (a terrific program for data/image analysis and acquisition, made by Wavemetrics), and our part, which works in the IgorPRO environment. If you are a current customer or if you have access to an Asylum AFM, please contact the support email listed on this page, or you can obtain a lot of help and instruction from our user forum (simply Google: Asylum Research Forum), which is free for our user base. From those sources you can get our full-blown, uber-technical manual, or you can get the quick-and-dirty bare bones version to get you going. and of course if you are going to use it you can just give us a call or email and we can help you get started. Like i said we take our customer support seriously.

    If you already know a lot about TEM, SEM, Confocal, etc... you are are step ahead. Unfortunately, expertise of those techniques is only a start because AFM is so fundamentally different. Keep in mind though that the most interesting samples that you can analyze with AFM usually are not the easiest; the technique isn't exactly turn-key- it's still pretty new (think back on how easy it was to use a confocal 20 years ago). It's important not to get too frustrated the first time you sit in front of an instrument. I've been at it since 1998 and i still learn something new almost every time i sit in front of one. However, i have noticed that 10 years ago many people in my field never heard about AFM, and the users were super scary technical types. Now you have folks who have little background in instrumentation doing some great stuff with the instrument. I'm really excited to see where we'll be in another 10 years- I think that there are a lot of fundamental questions out there where AFM can help us make some inroads. Sorry if i sound like an AFM geek.

    in any case, hit us up if you need anything-


    Nick Geisse
    Asylum Research
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