Observing the Living Nano World Shimadzu Releases the SPM-8000FM High Resolution Scanning Probe Microscope

– Even Capable of Measuring the Structure of Solid-Liquid Interfaces –

Shimadzu Corporation announces the release of the SPM-8000FM high resolution scanning probe microscope. Equipped with a frequency modulation (FM) detection method, and positioned in the HR-SPM (high resolution scanning probe microscope) category, the SPM-8000FM is Shimadzu's flagship model of scanning probe microscope (SPM).

The SPM-8000FM is the first instrument capable of making ultra-high resolution surface observations comparable to those in a vacuum, even in air or in liquid. Compatible samples include thin films, crystals, semiconductors, and organic samples. Furthermore, for the first time, the SPM-8000FM enables observations of hydration and solvation at the interface of liquids and solids (solid-liquid interfaces), so it can even be applied as an instrument to measure the structure at such interfaces. This instrument can be used to observe structural changes occurring at the interface of electrodes and electrolytes in lithium ion batteries, and make structural observations of lipids and other organic molecules in liquids. Such observations are expected to lead to new opportunities in research and development in a number of nanotechnology fields, including electronic devices, nanomaterials, catalysts, and biomaterials.

Shimadzu has developed the SPM-8000FM in cooperation with Kyoto University and other universities in the framework of the Japan Society and Technology Agency's "Development of Advanced Measurement and Analysis Systems" program.*

Features of This Instrument

1. Capable of Ultra-High Resolution Observations in Air and in Liquids

By heightening the efficiency of the optical condenser system that detects the cantilever vibrations, and developing laser light non-interference techniques, the noise in the optical beam deflection system that detects cantilever displacement has been significantly reduced, to about 1/20th of conventional levels. As a result, this instrument provides ultra-high resolution observations in air and in liquids, which has been difficult for conventional SPMs. Examples include the molecular structure of thin films of lead phthalocyanine crystals in air, and the atomic structure of sodium chloride (NaCl) in water. Since this instrument can evaluate the reactions and functionality of organic molecules, which demonstrate specific reactions in solution, it will also be useful in the development of organic devices. The SPM-8000FM is an HR-SPM that for the first time transcends the ultra-high vacuum limitation.

2. Provides Not Only Surface Observations But Also Measurements of the Localized 3D Structure of Solid-Liquid Interfaces

Solid-liquid interfaces are known to be structured into complicated layers by interactions between the solutes and water (the solvent). This is referred to as hydration/solvation. Hydration/solvation is known to have a significant impact on chemical reactions at the solid-liquid interface, as well as charge transfer, lubrication, and heat conduction. However, since the layers are extremely thin, they are not easily measured. In particular, observations of hydration/solvation, with its 3 dimensional structure, non-uniform horizontally with respect to the surface, have been impossible to date.

With the SPM-8000FM, it is now possible to measure localized hydration/solvation structures, thank to ultra-sensitive force detection. The liquid structure at solid-liquid interfaces can be observed by operating the probe at the interface, and taking accurate measurements of the force as a function of the probe position. Furthermore, by adopting a new scanning method, not only 2D but also 3D structures can be analyzed for the first time. With behavioral observations in liquids of biological interfaces, surfactants, polymers, and electrodes, application of this instrument will extend not only to surface observations, but also to structural measurements of solid-liquid interfaces.

* Grant Information
JST-SENTAN (Development of Advanced Measurement and Analysis Systems), Technology Development Type, “Atomic Resolution Scanning Probe Microscope Working in Air/Liquid”

Sales area: All areas excluding EU nations

For more details, visit


For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

This page may contain references to products that are not available in your country. Please contact us to check the availability of these products in your country.

Top of This Page