Certus Optic - Scanning Probe Microscope + Optical Microscope

Certus Optic — integrated optical (light) and scanning probe microscopes


Certus Optic I

Certus Optic U

Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) Certus Optic I with inverted optical microscope (Olympus IX71)

Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) Certus Optic U with uprigh optical microscope (Olympus BX51)

Certus Optic includes:

XYZ scanning head Certus; XYZ scanning head Certus;
XY-scanning stage Ratis XY-scanning stage Ratis
Inverted optical microscope Upright optical microscope
Integrated mechanical XY-stage for sample adjustment Integrated mechanical XY-stage for sample adjustment
- Mechanical Z-stage for objective
Z-objective nanofocusing stage Vectus* Z-objective nanofocusing stage Vectus
SPM controller EG-3000 SPM controller EG-3000
NSpec software package. NSpec software package.
*Optional for Certus Optic I


Certus Optic I/U - atomic force microscpe and light microscope

A - Optical microscope
B - XYZ AFM head Certus
C - Nano piezo scanning stage

D - Z-objective nanofocusing stage


Advantages of Certus Optic:

  • Nano piezo scanning XY stage Ratis with clear aperture can position the sample with sub-nanometer accuracy;
  • Nano piezo scanning XYZ AFM head Certus with clear aperture can position the probe with sub-nanometer accuracy;
  • Two scanning modes: XY sample scanning with stage and Z scanning with head scanner, or XYZ probe scanning with head scanner;
  • Plane-parallel scanners (piezo scanning stages) in head and base allows measurements without distortion typical for tube scanners;
  • Study both transparent and non-transparent samples (depending on the microscope type);
  • Optical microscope makes it possible to use all traditional observation techniques for sample studying. So one can easily find appropriate area on the sample and position the tip over it. Certus Optics can be equipped with brand new microscope or adopted for the customers one;
  • Independent systems of sample and probe positioning give a possibility to put the sample in the middle of field of view and install probe over it;
  • Certus Optic can be integrated with spectroscopic devices and can be upgraded to Centaur.




Certus Optic (AFM) with Olympus IX71

Certus Optic is indispensable tool to study physical and chemical properties of the surface in such areas as:

  • Chemistry;
  • Physics;
  • Biology;
  • Interdisciplinary researches.


Advanced applications:

  • Coatings;
  • Polymers (including liquid crystals and composites);
  • Semiconductors;
  • Biological objects (especially in combination with fluorescent microscopy);
  • MEMS and other electronic components.

Scanning surface of polymer.

Optical image.

Objective 40x.


In addition, parts of Certus Optic can be possibly used as an independent research equipments:

  • Ratis – positioning of samples (in the plane XY) with an accuracy a few parts of the nanometer;
  • Certus (version - Certus Standard) – a scanning probe microscope to study physical and chemical properties of the surface;
  • Optical microscope – for non-SPM microscopic studies.

Certus Optic can be easily upgraded to our Centaur (HR) SPM-Confocal-Spectroscopy system.

Certus Optic is an essential part of any of the experimental setup for investigation of TERS/FRET effects.

Scanning stage

Work without AFM


Certus Optic idea:

Certus Optic Idea

  • High resolution optical microscope allows easy object detection;
  • Scanning probe microscope alows to obtain object 3D image;
  • Samples can be studied being in native state.

Left image obtain by Certus Optic I, right image obtain by Certus Optic U


SPM probe holders

XYZ SPM head “Certus” contains several probe holders: for standard cantilevers, for “tuning fork” type SPM probes with horizontal and vertical orientation, for STM tips. Any custom design tip holders may be developed by our R&D team by customer request.

One has to change tip holder to change SPM mode.

It is convenient to have several tip holders for use SPM head in cleaned areas, boxes. In this case, only tip holders are being transferred though transition chambers and hatches. You don’t need to move head (SPM microscope).

Scanning surface of bio sample.

Optical image.

Objective 40x.

Certus Optic

Basic datasheet:

Main parameters
SPM Head
Built-in XYZ scanner
Scanning/positioning XYZ range 100x100x15 μm
XY stage resonant frequency 1 кHz
Z rezonant frequency 7 кHz
SPM resolution (XY lateral) <1 nm SPM resolution (Z vertical) <0.1 nm Residual nonlinearity <0.3%
1.1.2 Displacement sensors Sensors type Capacitance Measuring principle Time-to-digital convertion
1.1.3 Scanning head approach system Minimum step 1 μm Coarse approach implementation Stepper motors Number of stepper motors 3
1.2 Scanning Basement
1.2.1 Built-in XY plain-paralllel stage XY scanning range 100x100 μm XY resonant frequency 1 kHz Residual nonlinearity ≤0.3%
1.2.2 Displacement sensors Sensors type Capacitance Measuring principle Time-to-digital convertion
1.3 Sample positioning
1.3.1 Sample coarse positionig range 5x5 mm
1.3.2 Positioning Micro screws
1.3.3 Positionig accuracy ~ 5 μm
2 Optical microscope
2.1 Type, manufacturer and specifications of the microscope Optionally, in accordance with the terms of the specification either upright or inverted microscope
Certus (SPM head) drawings Certus Optic (scanning stage)  drawings Ratis (scanning stage) Drawings