New Asylum Research Accessory Enables Advanced Magnetics Research Under Both In-Plane and Out-of-Plane Applied Magnetic Fields

Asylum Research announced their new MFP-3D Variable Field Module (VFM4) accessory for Atomic Force Microscopes (AFMs) which enable measurements under applied in-plane and out-of-plane magnetic fields in order to better understand their effects on nanoscale magnetic domain structure. The VFM4 is capable of applying either an adjustable in-plane (8000 G ) or out-of-plane (1200 G) magnetic field to a sample and offers approximately 1 G field resolution. Pictured above are magnetic skyrmions in Co-based thin film pads imaged with MFM under out-of-plane magnetic fields (Image courtesy of K. Bouzehouane, Unite Mixte de Physique CNRS, Thales, Univ. Paris-Sud, Universite Paris-Saclay France).

“This new combination of capabilities has allowed one customer at a national synchrotron facility to use AFM for research that was previously only possible with very costly and time-consuming scanning x-ray transmission microscopy (SXTM),” said Dr. Maarten Rutgers, director of new product introduction. “No other AFM commercial solution offers the same capabilities, versatility, and ease of use for magnetics research. While the VFM has traditionally been used for magnetic force microscopy experiments, it can also be used with techniques like conductive AFM (CAFM) and on a wide range of diverse samples including piezoelectric and ferroelectric materials.”

The VFM4 attaches to many Asylum Research models and includes replaceable pole tips to quickly adapt between in-plane and out-of-plane configurations. It maintains a steady magnetic field with rare-earth magnets that produce no heat, thermal drift, or mechanical vibration. For experiments where both an applied magnetic field and a high tip-sample voltage bias are required, there is an optional high-voltage kit to adapt the VFM4 for safe application of voltages up to 220 Volts.

Asylum Research is an Oxford Instruments company specializing in making atomic force microscopes for academic research and industrial R&D.

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