Imaging Beyond the Diffraction Limit
The alpha300 S is a user-friendly Scanning Near-field Optical Microscope (SNOM) that combines the advantages of SNOM, confocal microscopy and AFM (Atomic Force Microscopy) in a single instrument. Switching between the different modes can be easily done by rotating the objective turret. The alpha300 S uses unique micro-fabricated SNOM cantilever sensors for optical microscopy with spatial resolution beyond the diffraction limit.
The WITec Scanning Near-field Optical Microscope alpha300 S operates using a unique near-field objective. It is mounted in the objective turret and provides access to SNOM or AFM. The micro-fabricated SNOM sensors are held magnetically at the end of the objective’s arm, enabling simultaneous observation of the cantilever and sample. For quick cantilever alignment, the arm can be moved in all three dimensions by an integrated highly-precise inertial drive. The movements are controlled by the WITec Control software, which also provides convenient alignment routines. The objective not only focuses the excitation laser beam, but also the beam-deflection laser for distance control. Highly focused, ultra-stable optics guarantee low-noise measurements without interference from the two laser systems. Using standard AFM cantilevers, the alpha300 S includes full AFM capability.