An Atomic Force Microscope with Dual Actuation Capability for Biomolecular Experiments

Semih Sevim, Naveen Shamsudhin, Sevil Ozer, Luying Feng, Arielle Fakhraee, Olgaç Ergeneman, Salvador Pané, Bradley J. Nelson, Hamdi Torun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


We report a modular atomic force microscope (AFM) design for biomolecular experiments. The AFM head uses readily available components and incorporates deflection-based optics and a piezotube-based cantilever actuator. Jetted-polymers have been used in the mechanical assembly, which allows rapid manufacturing. In addition, a FeCo-tipped electromagnet provides high-force cantilever actuation with vertical magnetic fields up to 0.55 T. Magnetic field calibration has been performed with a micro-hall sensor, which corresponds well with results from finite element magnetostatics simulations. An integrated force resolution of 1.82 and 2.98 pN, in air and in DI water, respectively was achieved in 1 kHz bandwidth with commercially available cantilevers made of Silicon Nitride. The controller and user interface are implemented on modular hardware to ensure scalability. The AFM can be operated in different modes, such as molecular pulling or force-clamp, by actuating the cantilever with the available actuators. The electromagnetic and piezoelectric actuation capabilities have been demonstrated in unbinding experiments of the biotin-streptavidin complex.
Original languageEnglish
Article number27567
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Early online date7 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016
Externally publishedYes


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