Compact, Transferable and Modular Scanning Probe Microscope Head

Plugged-in SPM with the new head design.

Invention Summary:

Current scanning probe microscope (SPM) heads are hard-wired into their base with a strong electrical connection, making it impossible to remove the SPM while leaving the cryogenic insert in situ. A SPM head with the ability to be easily removed or transferred about a system is much needed to eliminate the amount of added time it takes to warm up and then cool down both the cryogenic insert and the SPM.

Researchers at Rutgers University have created a new SPM head that is compact, stable, and transferable. By implementing the electrical connector and integrated coarse motor designs, the SPM gains the ability to be transferred within a system or between different systems, allowing the SPM to be assembled at room temperature with optical access and then transferred to low temperatures for performing experiments without breaking vacuum. It also allows the user to exchange between an STM, AFM, or MFM, all in situ. Further, the nested X, Y, and Z coarse motors make it possible to orient the sample parallel (in-plane) to the applied magnetic field without altering the magnetic field.

Market Applications:

  • Materials analysis
  • Scanning probe spectroscopy and microscopy at nanoscale
  • Atomic scale spectroscopy of nanomaterials
  • Surface analysis of nanomaterials
  • Magnetic properties at nanoscale
  • Electronic properties of nanomaterials
  • Atom manipulation/assembly
  • Quantum technology


  • Capable of transferring and exchanging SPM in situ
  • Able to orient sample parallel to the applied magnetic field without altering the magnetic field
  • Ultra-compact design

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Patent pending. Available for licensing and/or research collaboration.

Patent Information:
ID: 2020-085

Angela Coe
Guohong Li
Eva Andrei
For Information, Contact:
Shu Wang
Licensing Manager
Rutgers University
Machines & Instruments