Nano-Observer Atomic Force Microscope

The Nano-Observer AFM microscope is a flexible and powerful AFM. Designed with the ultimate technologies, it combines performance and ease of use. The USB controller offers a real integrated lock-in for better measurement capability (phase detection, Piezo-Response Mode).



CSInstruments is a French scientific equipment manufacturer specialised in the conception of Atomic Force Microscope and options designed for existing AFM (Nano-Observer AFM, Resiscope™, High Voltage Amplifier, Magnetic modules). The product range proposed by CSInstruments is designed and manufactured to help the scientific community to achieve nanometre performances that meet the research needs and requirements for actual and future nanoscience applications.

CSInstruments was founded by a team of experts working in AFM field for more than 20 years, starting as pioneer with some historical manufacturers. CSInstruments activity is also based on a qualified and dynamic team, experienced in the fields of mechanics, electronics and data processing. This expertise ensures innovation and performance in the production of AFM and achieves an excellent price/performance ratio!

Key Features

  • Combines performance and ease of use
  • Phase detection, Piezo-Response Mode
  • High resolution on a compact AFM head
  • Vertical motorised control makes pre-approach easy
  • Intuitive software allows quick and safe AFM acquisitions
  • Pre-positioned tip system with vertical motorised control
  • Pre-alignment system provides simplicity and high resolution
  • USB controller offers a real integrated lock-in for better measurement capability

Quality & user friendly

“Designed to achieve the best of AFM measurements”

High Resolution AFM
The Nano-Observer AFM microscope uses an advanced flat scanning stage to avoid well known defects of the piezoelectric tube scanner such as bow, X-Y crosstalk etc. A low noise feedback control delivers reliable and high performance. A patented flexure stage with 3 independent low voltage piezoelectric devices mounted in a massive platform and combined with a low noise laser and electronics achieves high resolution measurement at atomic scale.

Image: High resolution – C36 molecules – 500 nm – Resonant mode

Quality Measurements
Through a smart choice of analog and digital processing, each signal is enhanced to avoid addition of noise and perform a fast feedback. The scanner is controlled by 24-bit D/A converters providing high precision scan to the AFM. A built-in lock-in for accurate topography, phase or MFM/EFM/KFM and PFM measurements is coupled with low noise electronics to acquire highly resolved images and spectroscopy.

Image: DNA, oscillating mode, 800nm

“Intuitive AFM to simplify AFM measurements.”

Top & side view for tip/sample positioning

A video color camera is provided with the AFM microscope offering an helpful viewing from the top for tip/sample positioning or side view to make the tip/sample approach easier.

  • Sample/tip visibility
  • Ease of use
  • Avoids damaging sample or tip
  • Better contrast by lateral illumination

High performance optic (option)
A high performance optic (option) is also available to localize small features on your sample.

Image: High resolution video on 10µm grid

Intuitive software
Only main parameters are displayed for a clean and simple interface software

  • AFM Mode choice in one click
  • Autoset of the controller ! (no cables or module to mount or remove)
  • Pre-configured software (auto settings of most of the parameters)
  • Atomic Force Microscope adjustment by “Steps” : the user can follow defined “steps” to set easily the AFM.

AFM modes

“The uniqueness of Nano-Observer is defined by its versatility”

Multiple AFM Modes
In addition to performance, the Nano-Observer is capable of several advanced modes which expand your field of investigation. Beside contact/LFM and Oscillating/ Phase imaging, several modes are available to characterise mechanical viscoelasticity, adhesion of your samples as well as electrical properties (CAFM, ResiScopeTM), electric and magnetic fields (MFM/ EFM) and surface potential (standard KFM or HD-KFMTM) . 8 real-time image channels are available to increase capability of analysis.

Electric Field Microscopy
Electric Field Microscopy (EFM) is an oscillating mode. A metal tip scans the surface to record the topography. Then, the tip is over the sample and recording the offsets of the phase signal of the interactions with the gradient of electrical forces present on the surface.

Magnetic Field Microscopy
Magnetic Field Microscopy (MFM) is an oscillating mode. A magnetic tip scans the surface to record the topography. Then, the tip is over the sample and recording the offsets of the phase signal of interaction with the magnetic forces on the surface.

Conductive AFM
Conductive AFM (C-AFM) is an AFM contact mode.  A conductive tip saves the current variations of the surface using an amplifier. Curves of current / voltage can be conducted at various locations on the sample.

Force Modulation Microscopy
Force modulation mode is a mode of contact AFM. A mechanical oscillation is applied to the tip during the scan. A map of mechanical properties is carried out by measuring the amplitude of oscillation and the offsets of the phase signal.

Piezo Force Microscopy
Piezo Force Microscopy (PFM) is a AFM contact mode. An electrical oscillation is applied to the conductive tip during scanning. Mapping piezoelectric orientation areas is carried out by measuring the amplitude of oscillation and the offsets of the phase signal.

Advanced modes

“The ultimate in AFM electrical measurement”

HD-KFMTM (Kelvin Force Microscopy)
CSInstruments has developed an ultra-sensitive implementation of KFM named as High Definition-KFM(HD-KFM), which uses 2 lock-ins matched to the first two eigenmode frequencies of the cantilever to acquire both topography and SP.

ResiScopeTM II (Resistance over 10 decades)
The Nano-Observer AFM has a unique ResiScope mode based on a specialised electronics to measure resistivity over 10 orders of magnitude, compared to the typical 3-4 orders of magnitude obtained with standard conductive setups in other AFMs.

Soft ResiScope  
For delicate samples like polymers or organic materials, CSI has developed the Soft ResiScope mode, which allows to perform the resistance measurements in an intermittent contact mode with constant force. This allows to avoid or minimise wear/friction on the tip/sample.


“Expand your AFM measurement capabilities”

The Nano-Observer AFM Microscope also combines different environments such as temperature, liquid measurements or environment control.

Environmental control
Improve your AFM electrical measurements & protect your sample (gas, humidity).

EZ Liquids
The Nano-Observer AFM is compatible with imaging in liquid environment.

EZ TEMPerature
-40°C to 300°C, compatible with oscillating and contact modes.



XY scan range 100 μm (tolerance +/- 10%)
Z range 15 μm (tolerance +/- 10%)
XY drive resolution 24 bit control - 0.06 Angströms
Z drive resolution 24 bit control - 0.006 Angströms
Ultra low noise HV Typ : <0.01 mV RMS
6 DAC Outputs 6 D/A Converters – 24 bit (XYZ drive, bias, aux…)
8 ADC Inputs 8 A/D Converters – 16 bit
Data points Up to 8192
Integrated Lock-in Up to 6 MHz (software limited) 2nd lock-in (6 MHz-optional)
Interface USB (2.0 - 3.0 compatible)
Controller Power AC 100 – 240 V - 47-63 Hz
Operating System Windows 7 to 10



  • Materials Science
  • Life Sciences
  • Semiconductors and Electronics
  • Academics
  • Others (includes solar cells, geoscience, forensic science, and food technology)



Material characterisation

Polymer science

Electrical characterization


Soft sample




Nano-Observer Atomic Force Microscope Brochure

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Service Support

Comprehensive repairs and servicing

Annual Support Programs

Your metrology instrumentation is a major investment that is critical to your business operation and success. In today’s competitive climate, it is more important than ever to extend the functionality and peak performance of your metrology equipment years beyond the expiration of your factory warranty. CN Tech’s Support Programs will help ensure that your investment is protected, and that you and your instrument’s are always operating at peak performance.

With over 20 years’ experience servicing and repairing you can be assured that your system is in safe hands. The independent services we offer include system relocation, maintenance visits, parts and consumables, and break down interventions.

CN Tech’s Support Programs are an economical way to guarantee optimal working condition:

  • Annual Preventive Maintenance
  • Priority Technical Assistance
  • Preferred Parts Availability
  • On-Site User Training
  • Remote Diagnostics
  • No surprise repair expense and much more!

Support Contact Example

An example of our service and support contracts are shown below:


Metrology & Instrumentation Annual Support Programs 2022/23

CN Tech's Support Programs will help ensure that your investment is protected, and that you and your instrument’s are always operating at peak performance.

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