MONTFORT le GESNOIS, France, Feb. 23, 2012 — The Sarfus Mapping Lite measurement system unveiled by Nanolane, the nanotechnologies department of Eolane, accommodates any optical microscope setup functioning with reflected light. It is designed for imaging nanometric objects such as nanotubes, nanowires, DNA strands and nanoparticles. It enables measurement of thin films as well as surface treatment of nanometric thickness.
Easy to use, it comprises a set of Surf slides onto which users can deposit their samples. Surfs replace ordinary microscope glass slides, and users handle their optical microscope as usual, except that the contrast enhancement produced by a Surf lets them see nano objects in the shape of films, tubes or particles directly through eyepieces, with the naked eye. What has remained invisible to an optical microscope is now revealed clearly.
The included data conversion software takes a CCD camera-obtained 2-D color image and provides a 3-D thickness map of a nanometric sample. The optical microscope and color camera combination is calibrated via a series of nanometric step height standards traceable to the ISO 17025 standard, which guarantees a detection limit of 0.1 nm (instrument-dependent).
The benefits of adding Sarfus Mapping Lite to a microscope as compared to the current nanocharacterization/imaging tools are accessibility and user-friendliness. Real-time image acquisition makes it possible to record fast dynamic phenomena (camera-dependent), while a selectable field of view (ranging from a few microns squared to several millimeters squared, depending upon magnification) gives users the flexibility to study their samples globally — useful for locating regions of interest — but also locally to investigate micro- to submicro details. The technique is noncontact and nondestructive.
Applications include thin-film characterization (organics, inorganics, liquid crystals, lithography), biological systems (biochips, biofilms), and fundamental research-related uses such as nanopatterns and Langmuir-Blodgett layers.
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