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  3. Electron Microscopes/Atomic Force Microscopes
  4. Scanning Probe Microscopes/Atomic Force Microscopes (SPM/AFM)
  5. Principle of SPM, AFM
  6. Sampling Intelligent Scan (SIS)

Sampling Intelligent Scan (SIS)

In SIS mode, probe approaches each measurement point and acquires topography and physical property information, followed by retracting from the sample and moving to the next measurement point. It is an intelligent measurement mode that can adjust the scan speed according to sample surface.

SIS solved problems occurred in conventional AFM by reducing the lateral tip/sample interactions. This enables stabilized measurements, particularly on soft and adhesive samples as well as samples with high aspect ratio structures.

When used in the Current Mode for a soft material, SIS allows the stable acquisition of topographic image without damaging the sample. SIS is also effective in the Phase Mode (PM): SIS-PM eliminates the effects of sample topography, which may cause artifacts in PM imaging.

Animation of SIS

Conceptual diagram of SIS-Topo* scanning movements
Probe and sample make contact only when getting data. Aside from this, scanning speed drops when moving at high speeds in the horizontal direction while on stand by in mid-air and when in contact with the sample surface; and shelter motions that rise from the sample surface are automatically performed.

Image of SIS mode

SIS-Topo* Examples

1.Measuring high aspect ratio structures

Comparison between DFM and SIS-Topo: Measuring deep trenches by using conventional DFM cantilevers

DFM(Conventional tapping mode)



Image of SIS mode

High aspect ratio structures: Polytetrafluoroethylene sheet

* SIS‐Topo:eliminates effects from horizontal direction and accurately scans high aspect ratio structures.

2.Observation of adhesives

DFM cannot get a clear image of the phase or the topography of soft and adhesive surfaces; however, SIS-Topo clearly observes both topography and phase images.

Image of SIS mode

SIS-Property* Example

Conventional AFM/Current imaging


SIS-Property* Current imaging


* SIS-Topo is for observing topography and phase mode, while SIS-Property is for mechanical and electromagnetic property measurements.

The conventional current and AFM modes deform samples, resulting in an unstable image reflected in the scan direction for current distribution.

In contrast, SIS-Property* (Current) performs stabilized measurements for both current and topographic images without deforming the sample.


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