AFM - Raman - SNOM
Modular AFM
Automated AFM
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NTEGRA Spectra NTEGRA Spectra – AFM-Raman-SNOM system. NT-MDT – AFM-probes, atomic force microscope (AFM, HybriD Mode, STM, SPM, RAMAN, SNOM SPECTRUM SPECTRUM - Automated AFM-Raman-SNOM system for a wide range of applications NTEGRA Spectra II

NTEGRA Spectra

Interdisciplinary research
at the nanometer scale:
AFM + Confocal Raman + SNOM + TERS

NTEGRA Spectra Brochure (8 Mb)

Working principle TERS Probes Applications Specifications Downloads Contact Us

Integration of SPM and confocal microscopy/Raman scattering spectroscopy. Owing to Tip Enhances Raman Scattering it allows carrying out spectroscopy/microscopy with up to 10 nm resolution.


Integration: The key to the new sciences
Change happens at interfaces and today’s most exciting changes in microscopy are happening where multiple technologies are interfaced together. NTEGRA Spectra is a prime example, uniting the full power of atomic force microscopy (AFM), confocal Raman and fluorescence microscopy and scanning near-field optical microscopy (SNOM) in one platform. more info

Different configuration of AFM with confocal Raman/Fluorescence microscope



A unique configuration for simultaneous AFM - Raman - TERS* and SNOM imaging of opaque samples

*TERS: Tip Enhanced Raman Scattering, Tip Enhanced Fluorescence etc.


Optimized for simultaneous AFM - Raman - TERS* and SNOM imaging of samples on transparent substrates (living cells, nanoparticles etc.)

*TERS: Tip Enhanced Raman Scattering, Tip Enhanced Fluorescence etc.

Side illumination option

Used to facilitate TERS* measurements on opaque samples

*TERS: Tip Enhanced Raman Scattering, Tip Enhanced Fluorescence etc.

Fiber Scanning Near-field Optical Microscopy (SNOM)

SNOM techniques based on on quartz fiber.


Cantilever Scanning Near-field Optical Microscopy (SNOM)

SNOM techniques based on cantilevers with aperture.



HybriD Mode™

Ntegra Spectra equipped with new electronics and software allows to combine a recently developed innovative HybriD Mode™ (HD-AFM™ Mode) for nanomechanical proprieties and Raman for chemical imaging of exactly the same area within single measurement session.

Stiffness of HDPE/LDPE polymer sandwich cut by microtome
Overlap of Raman maps: HDPE (red), LDPE (blue)
AFM topography

Image size: 34 × 34 μm
Data from: M. Yanul, S. Magonov, P. Dorozhkin, NT-MDT.



Working principle

Modes: Controlled environment:
  • AFM (mechanical, electrical, magnetic properties, nanomanipulation etc.)
  • White Light Microscopy and Confocal Laser (Rayleigh) Imaging
  • Confocal Raman Imaging and Spectroscopy
  • Confocal Fluorescence Imaging and Spectroscopy
  • Scanning Near-Field Optical Microscopy (SNOM)
  • Tip Enhanced Raman and Fluorescence Microscopy (TERS, TEFS, TERFS)
  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Gases
  • Liquid
  • Electrochemical environment
  • External magnetic field


TERS Probes

Introduction to TERS (nano-Raman)

Tip Enhanced Raman Scattering (TERS, nano-Raman)  is the technique for enhancement of weak Raman signals and for super-resolution Raman imaging with spatial resolution ~10 nm. Nano-Raman imaging provides unique insights into sample structure and chemical composition on the nanometer scale.

In TERS, a sharp metal probe (nano-antenna) is used to localize and enhance optical field at the tip apex (fig. 1a). The light enhancement is typically reached when excitation laser light is in resonance with localized surface plasmon at the end of the TERS probe (fig. 1b). Enhancement of electromagnetic field (light) intensity on the TERS probe apex can reach many orders of magnitudes. In TERS mapping the sample is scanned with respect to the nano-antenna; the enhanced Raman signal localized near the probe apex is measured resulting in Raman maps of the sample surface with nanometer  scale resolution.

Fig.1. Principle of Tip Enhanced Raman Scattering and other tip- assisted optical techniques (left). Localized surface plasmon (electron density oscillations) at the end of a metal TERS probe (nano-antenna), resulting in light localization and enhancement at the probe apex (right). 


TERS (nano-Raman) imaging by NT-MDT AFM-Raman instrument

NT-MDT develops and supplies unique instrumentation for AFM integration with various optical microscopy and spectroscopy techniques. NT-MDT was the first to introduce integrated AFM-Raman instrument in 1998 and is now the leading developer and supplier of such instruments worldwide.

NT-MDT AFM-Raman instrument has been successfully used for TERS (nano-Raman) mapping of various objects with spatial resolution reaching 10 nm: graphene and other carbon nanomaterials, polymers, thin molecular layers (including monolayers), semiconductor nanostructures, lipid membranes, various protein structures, DNA molecules etc. References to corresponding publications can be found at download page.

TERS probe challenge

While the AFM-Raman instrumentation has been developing relatively fast, TERS probes have always remained main limiting factor for nano-Raman to become routine characterization technique. The main challenges are: (i) manufacturing reproducible probes with high enhancement factors and high resolution imaging capabilities; (ii) probe lifetime; (iii) probe ease of use; (iv) probe mass production not involving complicated and poorly reproducible manual procedures.

TERS probes originally used in scientific publications were usually etched metal wires - attached to tuning fork or working in STM (tunneling) regime. Preparation of such probes requires elaborated manual operations; probes are typically not very reproducible. Another approach to TERS probe preparation utilizes focused ion beam to manufacture special structure on the tip end. This approach is very resource consuming and also lacks reproducibility. Different metal coatings of AFM cantilevers have been reported recently – with different degrees of enhancements and reproducibility.

Reproducible TERS probes from NT-MDT

As a result of comprehensive research performed together with NT-MDT customers and partners, NT-MDT is now able to offer to its AFM-Raman customers mass produced reproducible cantilever-type TERS probes. The probes are prepared based on so-called “Top Visual” AFM Si cantilevers (Fig. 2). Special proprietary  probe preparation and TERS metal coating are applied.

Fig. 2. SEM image of “Top Visual” AFM probe. Protruding probe geometry allows optical access to the apex from the top (left). Experimental TERS configuration (right).

AFM probes can have different stiffness and can be optimized for contact and non-contact regimes.

Protruding “nose-type” shape of the probes allows Raman laser light to be focused on the probe apex from the top: for use with non-transparent samples.

The probes provide guarantied TERS performance on a test sample (organic molecules on Au substrate):

The AFM TERS  probes also feature excellent AFM performance in contact and non-contact regimes since they are prepared based on standard Si AFM cantilevers produced  by mass technology.  All advanced AFM modes (electrical, magnetic, nanomechanical etc.) are available with NT-MDT TERS probes. High resonance quality factors (for non-contact probes) allow excellent force sensitivity and guarantee long tip lifetime during measurements.

STM  TERS probes (electrochemically etched metal wires) and TERS probes attached to tuning fork are also available.

The NT-MDT TERS probes reach their highest characteristics with the unique AFM-Raman instrument from NT-MDT: specifically designed for TERS research.

Probes are only supplied to be used with NT-MDT instrumentation. Contact us for more information.


Fig. 3. Typical Raman signal enhancement (>100x) of NT-MDT TERS AFM probe (left). High resolution TERS map. Resolution: ~20 nm. Sample: BCB thin molecular layer on Au substrate (right).


Fig. 4. High resolution TERS map of carbon nanotubes on Au substrate. Resolution: ~10 nm.


More technical information about TERS cantilevers: http://www.ntmdt-tips.com/products/group/ters-afm-probes-new



NTEGRA Spectra: description and applications   (7.8 Mb)

  • Graphene, carbon nanotubes and other carbon materials
  • Semiconductor devices
  • Nanotubes, nanowires, quantum dots and other nanoscale materials
  • Polymers
  • Optical device characterization: semiconductor lasers, optical fibers, waveguides, plasmonic devices
  • Investigation of cellular tissue, DNA, viruses and other biological objects
  • Chemical reaction control

Graphene flakes

30x30 um

Ni foil

20x20 um

PC-PVAC film

30x30 um


30x30 um



Confocal Raman/Fluorescence microscopy
AFM/STM: Integration with spectroscopy
Scanning Near Field Optical Microscopy (SNOM)
Optimized for Tip Enhanced Raman Scattering (TERS) and other tip-related optical techniques
Confocal Raman/Fluorescence microscopy
Confocal Raman/Fluorescence/Rayleigh imaging runs simultaneously with AFM (during one sample scan)
Diffraction limited spatial resolution: <200 nm in XY, <500 nm in Z (with immersion objective)
True confocality; push button from software to control the motorized confocal pinhole for optimal signal and confocality
Motorized variable beam expander/collimator: adjusts diameter and collimation of the laser beam individually for each laser and each objective used
Full 3D (XYZ) confocal imaging with powerful image analysis
Hyperspectral imaging (recording complete Raman spectrum in every point of 1D, 2D or 3D confocal scan) with further software analysis
Optical lithography (vector, raster)

AFM/STM: Integration with spectroscopy
Upright and Inverted optical AFM configurations (optimized for opaque and transparent samples correspondingly);
side illumination option
Highest possible resolution (numerical aperture) optics is used simultaneously with AFM: 0.7 NA for Upright, 1.3–1.4 NA for Inverted
AFM/STM and confocal Raman/Fluorescence images are obtained simultaneously (during one scan)
All standard SPM imaging modes are supported (>30 modes) — combined with confocal Raman/Fluorescence
Low noise AFM/STM (atomic resolution)
Vibrations and thermal drifts originating from optical microscope body are minimized due to special design of optical AFM heads
Focus track feature: sample always stays in focus due to AFM Z-feedback; high quality confocal images of very rough or inclined samples can be obtained

Seamless integration of AFM and Raman; all AFM/ Raman/SNOM experiment and further data analysis is performed in one and the same software
Powerful analysis of 1D, 2D and 3D hyperspectral images 
Powerful export to other software (Excel, MatLab, Cytospec etc.)

Extremely high efficiency 520 mm length spectrometer with 4 motorized gratings
Visible, UV and IR spectral ranges available
Echelle grating with ultrahigh dispersion; spectral resolution: 0.007 nm (< 0.1 1/cm)**
Up to 3 different detectors can be installed
  • TE cooled (down to -100 ºC) CCD camera. EMCCD camera is optional — for ultrafast imaging
  • Photon multiplier (PMT) or avalanche photodiode in photon counting mode
  • Photon multiplier for fast confocal laser (Rayleigh) imaging
Flexible motorized polarization optics in excitation and detection channels, cross-polarized Raman measurements 
Fully automated switch between different lasers — with a few mouse clicks

Scanning Near Field Optical Microscopy (SNOM)
Two major SNOM techniques supported: (i) based on quartz fiber probes, (ii) based on silicon cantilever probes
All modes supported: Transmission, Collection, Reflection 
All SNOM signals detected: laser intensity, fluorescence intensity, spectroscopy
SNOM lithography (vector, raster)

Optimized for Tip Enhanced Raman Scattering (TERS) and other tip-related optical techniques

All existing TERS geometries are available: illumination / collection from bottom, from top or from side
Different SPM techniques and TERS probes can be used: STM, AFM cantilever, quartz tuning fork in tapping and shear force modes
Dual scan (for Hot Point Mapping in TERS): scan by sample AND scan by tip / by laser spot
Motorized polarization optics to produce optimal polarization for TERS

AFM-Raman measurements can run in air, in controlled atmosphere or in liquid — all with variable temperature (for Inverted configuration)

Some features listed are optional — not included into basic system configuration
* NT-MDT AFM can be integrated with Renishaw inVia or with NT-MDT spectrometer. Specifications are given for the latter. Renishaw specifications can be found at www.renishaw.com/AFM-Raman
** Exact value of spectral resolution highly depends on how “resolution” is defined


Information brochures

Application notes

Key publications

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