If Carlsberg made AFM probes...

When you drink a pint of Carlsberg you know precisely what to expect in terms of taste and flavour.

Carlsberg’s best known beer, Carlsberg Export, is allegedly still brewed to the original recipe that Danish brewery founder J.C Jacobsen created in 1847.

Jacobsen claimed that “develop[ing] the art of making beer to the highest possible degree of perfection” was his central and constant purpose.

For the company, as for the founder, repeatability of their lager recipes to the same standard every time continues to be central to this pursuit for (and some might say achievement of) excellence.

 
Carlsberg-Bottle-Neck.jpeg
 

Reliability and repeatability are values that we hold pretty dear at NuNano too.

The experience of working with AFM probes as a doctoral student has informed my own “pursuit of perfection” in the art of making AFM tips to a consistently high quality of sharpness.

Few things were more frustrating than going through the rigmarole of preparing my precious sample, setting up the system, carefully scanning the sample and then not getting the image or image clarity that I expected.

Checking off the different reasons for this and adjusting various imaging parameters, only to discover that simply changing the probe made all the difference in the world was a good outcome, but very time consuming, and sometime required the preparation of yet another sample...

It wasn’t just the cost of the probes or the associated time wasted in this way that I found frustrating, it was also the break in momentum. I know from other colleagues then and now that poor tip sharpness can stall a good day’s science.

For some it’s costly in different ways, for example when they are dealing samples that are particularly sensitive or could degrade quickly. There simply isn’t time to faff around changing AFM probes.

 
 Quality Control @ NuNano

Quality Control @ NuNano

 

For this reason I’ve ensured a market leading level of quality checking in our AFM probe manufacturing process.

Specifically, during and after production we inspect every single probe.

Using scanning electron microscope (SEM), we check each probe for tip sharpness, cantilever thickness and uniformity, measuring the radius of the curvature of the tip to ensure it is sub-10 nanometres.

Our strict quality control (QC) process during fabrication safeguards the tips from contamination during these checks. The follow up post-production QC confirms that each tip meets the requisite sharpness, and if it doesn’t, the probe simply doesn’t get shipped.

As founder of NuNano, this is my central and constant purpose: ensuring that we provide a level of quality that guarantees reliable and accurate imaging from every probe in every box we ship. It gives our customers peace of mind and saves them time as every probe works.

And this of course is precisely what makes our AFM probes the best in the world. Probably.

Pint anyone?