Soft ResiScope Mode

Soft ResiScope: AFM electrical characterization on soft sample



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 nanometer 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

  • Unique Technology
  • NO Friction
  • Constant Force = Quantitative Electrical Measurements
  • Resistance / Current
  • From 10² to 10^12 ohms

True quantitative resistance/ current measurements

The soft resiscope allows to measure resistance and current on fragile conductive samples. The specific vertical movement applied to the tip in Soft Resiscope mode optimizes the electrical measurement at the time of contact and preserves the tip and the sample. Unlike other oscillating techniques available on the market, the Soft Resiscope measures current / resistance at constant force during the cycle. The electrical measurements are then comparable to those made in AFM contact mode but with the advantage of being able to measure fragile samples.

Non-destructive methode

This non-destructive new method «soft ResiScope» was compared with conventional oscillating mode on fragile sample (polymer blend). The results were totally equivalent. This figure shows the first few lines of the scan measured in oscillating mode and the other part measuring by soft ResiScope mode. We can also notice the surface damaged by the previous scan made in contact mode (blue square), the surface was scratched by the tip.

Image: Areas of a soft sample (polymer blend) measured in contact mode (blue area), then oscillating mode (green area), and finally in «Soft ResiScope» mode (red area).

Soft & Standard ResiScope Modes

Quantitative resistance/current measurements have been validated by study and open new perspectives for electricalcharacterization on all kind of samples and mostly soft samples. The following image demonstrates the quantitative measurements with Soft ResiScope. The comparison was made between contact mode ResiScope measurements and Soft ResiScope mode on standard electrical sample like SRAM. The result does not show any differences between contact mode and Soft ResiScope mode on topography and resistance signals. Morever the cross section show identical results between Standard ResiScope and SoftResiScope modes.

Image top: Comparison between the Resiscope and Soft Resiscope modes, on VO2 sample, 10 µm, topography and resistance signals. The first lines performed in ResiScope mode followed by Soft ResiScope mode (activated with the Yes button) show an identical result in terms of lateral resolution and quantitative measurement.

Image bottom: Red line : Soft ResiScope, Intermittent Mode, Blue line : Standard ResiScope, Contact Mode.


The Soft ResiScope principle is based on intermittent contact. The AFM probe only stays in contact with the sample during a short period of time with a constant force control which allows the ResiScope II to measure the resistance and the current in the best conditions for quantitative measurements. Then the tip is retracted and moves to the next step.

Product range

Soft ResiScope Mode


This unique and innovative AFM mode is able to expand the fields of applications of the « ResiScope II » to soft samples such as organic solar cells, conducting polymers or other biological samples, while retaining its wide measuring range (10 decades). The Soft ResiScope principle is based on intermittent contact.


  • Polymers
  • Solar cells
  • Organic materials
  • Biological sample


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


If you would like to learn more about Soft ResiScope Mode, contact our experienced technical team today. We would be happy to help you find the right profilometry solution for your needs. Contact us today!