Open Technology Studio

Open science for AFM

We believe that the concept of open science should go beyond publishing papers in open access journals and sharing source code.

As technology developers, the outcomes of our research are in part the instruments and technologies themselves. In order to share these research outputs with the wider scientific community, we actively engage in dissemination activities in the form of open hardware workshops (“ technology studios”).

These workshops are open to all interested participants (for non-profit purposes). Under our guidance, participants in these workshops build copies of our prototype equipment. This way they learn about the inner workings of the instruments, learn how to use and maintain them, and if desired how to improve upon them.

Section rendering through version 2 head

After successfully assembling and testing the instruments, the participants take the instruments to their home institutions to perform their own research. These workshops are organized roughly once per year (depending on the demand), on an at cost basis.

The first instrument we actively share with the community is a small lever AFM head with photothermal excitation, which is compatible with the broadly available MultiMode AFM systems. Several of these workshops have already taken place, and instruments are now used in labs worldwide.

Photo of version 2 photothermal head

WorldMap with Small lever head technology

As we continue to develop new instrumentation, we continuously expand our technology studio offerings. Projects that will be available in the near future are:

  • High-speed AFM scanner for use with the photothermal small lever head
    High speed scanner prototype

  • Open source, high-speed AFM controller based on National Instruments LabView FPGA

  • 3D printed structured illumination microscope module