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Atomic Force Microscope AFM5500M

Scanning Probe Microscopy System AFM5500M

The AFM5500M is an AFM platform equipped with a fully addressable 4-inch stage, optimized for medium-sized samples. It affords exceptional levels of ease of use, automation, and accuracy, as well as correlation for AFM/SEM investigations.


Ease of Use

Significantly simplifying the AFM operation

  • Wide-open tip and sample access
  • Fully addressable 4-inch stage eliminating the need for sample remount/rotation
  • Point-and-click function enabling easy and quick camera-based sample navigation
  • All built-in accessories allowing seamless and software-controlled mode switching
Automated Stage
Automated Stage

Easy and quick positioning
Multipoint measurement


Easier, faster, and more precise AFM imaging

  • Automated cantilever exchange
  • Automated laser alignment
  • Automated image optimization (RealTune® II)
  • Automated AFM measurements following a recipe
Automated cantilever exchange
Automated cantilever exchange
Easy to remove/attach


Enhanced accuracy of AFM measurements

  • Flexure-based design providing superior flat and orthogonal scan
  • Closed-loop scanner allowing highly linear and accurate imaging
  • Low sensor noise yielding high-resolution and high-quality results
  • Tip evaluation capability ensuring probe quality and artifact-free images

Flat Scan

Conventional AFM with a piezoelectric tube scanner requires data flattening or leveling because of its intrinsic curved motion. However, this flattening may distort a sample' s micro-surface structure, including its Z value. The newly developed AFM5500M is equipped with a flexure-based scanner that enables well-controlled raster scans along X and Y directions only. As a result, this advanced scanner design can effectively eliminate background curvatures in a wide scan area and improve the accuracy of AFM measurements.

Amorphous silicon  thin film on a silicon substrate
Sample :Amorphous silicon thin film on a silicon substrate

High Orthogonality

Using a conventional piezoelectric tube scanner can cause cross-talk when bending the tube scanner.
This cross-talk leads to distortions and asymmetrization. The improved AFM5500M’s scanner reduces cross-talk making both accurate and symmetric measurements possible.

Textured-structure solar battery
Sample : Textured-structure solar battery(having symmetrical structure due to its crystal orientation.)

* AFM5100N (with an open-loop scanner)


Correlative AFM and SEM Imaging

The Hitachi-proprietary SEM/AFM shared alignment holder provides quick and easy measurements and analysis of topography, structures, composition, and surface property.

Correlative AFM and SEM Imaging
The ovrlay images createed
The ovrlay images createed by using AZblend Ver.2.1, ASTRON Inc.

AFM and SEM Measurements of the Same Area (Sample:Graphene/SiO2)

Overlay images of SEM, AFM (topography), and KFM (surface potential)

  • It can be concluded from AFM cross-session height measurements that those contrast differences in the SEM image are corresponding to the variation of graphene layers in the AFM image.
  • It indicates that surface potential (work function) of graphene sheets is highly dependent on the sample thickness, i.e., the number of graphene layers.
  • High-precision 3D topographic data in conjunction with the electrical property examination provide strong evidence for identifying the root cause of captured variations in SEM contrasts.

Hitachi High-Tech Science will continue to develop AFM-correlated systems with other types of microscopes and inspection equipment.


Stage Automated, fully addressable 100 mm (4 inch) stage
Travel range: XY ±50 mm (2 inch), Z ≥21 mm
Minimum step size: XY 2 µm, Z 0.04 µm
Sample Size Diameter: 100 mm (4 inch) 
Thickness: 20 mm
Weight: 2 kg
Scan Range 200 µm x 200 µm x 15 µm (XY: Closed loop control, Z: Displacement sensor)
RMS Noise Level* ≤0.04 nm (High-resolution mode)
Repeatability* XY: ≤15 nm(3σ, measuring 10 µm pitch)/Z: ≤1 nm (3σ, measuring 100 nm depth)
XY Orthogonality ±0.5°
Bow* ≤2 nm/50 µm
Detection Optical lever (Low-coherence light)
Top-viewOptical Microscope Zoom magnification: x1 to x7
Field of vision: 910 µm x 650 µm to 130 µm x 90 µm 
Monitor magnification: x465 to x3255 (27 inch monitor)
Anti-vibration Desktop active anti-vibration 500 mm(W) x 600 mm (D) x 84 mm (H), approximately 28kg
Soundproof Cover 750 mm(W) x 877 mm (D) x 1400 mm(H), approximately 237 kg
Size 400 mm(W) x 526 mm(D) x 550 mm(H), approximately 90 kg

* System performance depends on installation environment and its configuration.

AFM5500M Exclusive Probe Station
RealTune® II Automatic tuning of cantilever amplitude (DFM), contact force, scan speed, and feedback gains
(Various tuning modes including Auto, Fast, Soft, Rough, and Point)
Various Functions Operating instructions; Tab structure (Measurement/ Analysis); Measurement area indicator/ Measurement area tracking window; Batch processing; and Tip calibration
Operating Voltage 0 to 150 V
Multi Channel
(Data Points)
4 channels (max. 2048 x 2048)
2 channels (max. 4096 x 4096)
Rectangular Scan 2:1, 4:1, 8:1, 16:1, 32:1, 64:1, 128:1, 256:1, 512:1, 1,024:1
Analysis Software 3D display and overlay, Roughness, Cross-section, Average cross-section
Automated Functions Automated cantilever exchange and laser alignment
Size 340 mm(W) x 503 mm(D) x 550 mm(H), approximately 34 kg
Power Supply AC 100 to 240 V ±10 %
Measurement Modes AFM(contact mode), DFM (tapping mode), PM, FFM, LM-FFM, VE-AFM, Adhesion, Current, Pico-Current, SSRM, PRM, KFM, EFM(AC), EFM(DC), MFM, SIS-Topography, SIS-Property

* RealTune is a registered trademark of Hitachi High-Tech Science Corporation in Japan, the United States, and the European Union.

Optional:AFM and SEM shared alignment sample holder
Compatible Hitachi SEM SU8240, SU8230 (H36 mm), SU8220 (H29 mm)
Sample Holder Size 41 mm(W) x 28 mm(D) x 16 mm(H)
Sample Size Φ20 mm x 7 mm
Alignment Accuracy ±10 µm (AFM alignment accuracy)




Article information on Hitachi technical magazine "SI NEWS"

Article information on Hitachi technical magazine "SI NEWS"

This journal addresses a wide range variety of research papers and useful application data using Hitachi science instruments. Those authors are notable researchers and Hitachi application engineers. This is an Atomic Force Microscope AFM5500M

Describing basic principles and multiple function principles of Scanning Tunnel Microscope (STM), Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) etc.

This journal addresses a wide range variety of research papers and useful application data using Hitachi science instruments.

The trademark that represents our strong bond with the customer and shows our pledge to connect science and society to create new value.

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