Centre for Molecular Imaging at NT (MINT)

BioScope Catalyst

– Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)

Tatyana Sherstova using the high resolution TIRF microscope. Photo: Per Henning/NTNU

The atomic force microscope BioScope Catalyst from Bruker AXS is integrated with an inverted Axio Observer.

 Z1 from Zeiss, allowing this high resolution imaging technique to be used simultaneously with fluorescent techniques (total internal reflection fluorescence or epi-fluorescence) or other contrast techniques (brightfield microscopy or phase contrast). It is specifically designed for bioscience applications. The spatial structures of biomolecules and cells can be identified in both air and fluid, under physiologically related conditions. With the PeakForce tapping mode, quantitative nanomechanical properties such as elastic modulus and adhesion can be mapped, together with sample topography. The sample holder supports standard microscope cover slips, slides and petri dishes.

The microscope specifications

Zeiss Axio Observer Z1 inverted microscope with control touchscreen

Stage and incubation accessories

  • The baseplate scan stage from Bruker AXS with standard sample holder and motorized sample stage, controlled either manually, by the software or a joystick.
  • A heater stage for the baseplate, including temperature controller.
  • Perfusion accessories from Bruker AXS.

XY-range (the baseplate scan stage)

  • Motorized sample stage with nominal range 125 mm x 125 mm
  • Closed-loop X and Y piezo scanners, range 150 um x 150 um

Z-range (the BioScope catalyst scan head)

  • Stepping motor for coarse Z positioning, total range 8 mm
  • Closed-loop Z piezo scanner, range ca 25 um (0.1 nm RMS noise)

EasyAlign accessory

For simple alignment of the 850 nm IR light from the luminescent diode onto the cantilever tip, both in air and fluid.

Controller electronics

NanoScope V Controller

AFM operation modes

  • Contact mode
  • Tapping mode
  • Lateral force measurements
  • High-resolution nanolithography
  • PeakForce tapping mode (ScanAsyst)
  • Force mode: recording of force curves and force volume imaging
  • Quantitative nanomechanical property mapping (PeakForce QNM)


Andor iXon DU 897_BV EMCCD from Andor Technologies

Software on the AFM computer

  • NanoScope software version 8.10 and 8.15r3 with the modules.
    1. PeakForce QNM for quantitative mapping of nanomechanical properties such as elastic modulus, adhesion and deformation.
    2. NanoMan for nanomanipulation and nanolithography.
    3. MIRO for microscope image registration, to guide AFM imaging and overlay optical images and AFM images.
  • Nanoscope Analysis version 1.40 for image processing and analysis.
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 11:05:24 +0100

Technical support

Optical/confocal microscopy
Image analysis

Contact: Astrid Bjørkøy

Atomic force microscopy (MultiMode8)

Contact: Gjertrud Maurstad

Flow cytometry

Contact: Kristin Grendstad Sæterbø