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AFM Optical Platform

Designed to be combined with Optical Spectroscopies

The AFM platform allows fully-integrated use of confocal Raman microscopy and AFM for Tip-Enhanced Optical Spectroscopies (such as Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (TERS) and Tip-Enhanced PhotoLuminescence (TEPL)), but also for truly co-localized AFM-Raman measurements.

The myriad of AFM (Atomic Force Microscope) techniques that allow study of topographical, electrical and mechanical properties can be performed with any laser source available in Raman spectrometer, or with other external illumination (e.g., solar simulator or other tunable or continuum source). TERS and TEPL can provide nanoscale chemical and structural information, making the AFM-Raman platform a two-way road; where complimentary techniques provide novel and unique imaging capabilities to each other.

AFM-Raman presentation

Nano Spectroscopy Solutions with AFM-Raman, TERS, NSOM

HORIBA's leading Raman technology is now integrated with Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). The end result is a more comprehensive sample characterization in one versatile instrument, for fast simultaneous co-localized AFM-Raman measurements, Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (TERS) and Tip-Enhanced PhotoLuminescence (TEPL).

NanoRaman Webinar

Correlated Tip-Enhanced Optical Spectroscopy and SPM

We present in this webinar new nano-imaging capabilities. Tip-Enhanced Optical Spectroscopies (TEOS) such as TERS (Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy) and TEPL (Tip-Enhanced PhotoLuminescence) provide a unique capability for the characterization of molecules, 1D and 2D materials, semiconducting nanostructures and bio-materials.

Technology & F.A.Q.

AFM-Raman (co-localized measurements & TERS)

TERS brings Raman Spectroscopy into nanoscale resolution imaging. Learn more about this super-resolution chemical imaging technique.




“(…) Thanks to the customer-oriented culture of HORIBA, the nano-Raman team of LPICM is currently updating its “historical” prototype with the novel TERS system. It will allow us (…) to initiate new research areas, impossible to address with the present system.”
Prof. Razvigor OSSIKOVSKI, nano-Raman team leader, LPICM, Ecole Polytechnique, France

User's papers

Access a list of AFM-Raman user's publications and discover how TERS & TEPL create a high scientific impact.


AFM-Raman Trainings

Our trainers are experts in AFM-Raman technique. They will provide trainings advice and guidance to make the most of your HORIBA Scientific instrument. You will gain confidence and experience in the analysis of your samples.



AFM-TERS measurements in a liquid environment with side illumination/collection

AFM-TERS measurements in a liquid environment with side illumination/collection

This application note reveals the key instrumental details to succeed in TERS measurements in liquids using side illumination/collection geometry. Such capability aims at bringing breakthroughs in many applications such as heterogeneous catalysis, electrochemistry, cellular biology and biomaterials. In this note, nanoscale chemical imaging of graphene oxide flakes and carbon nanotubes immersed in water is demonstrated with a TERS resolution down to 20 nm along with true non-contact AFM images.

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Characterization of Nanoparticles from Combustion Engine Emission using AFM-TERS

Characterization of Nanoparticles from Combustion Engine Emission using AFM-TERS

A new concern for human health is now raised by sub-23 nm particles emitted by on-road motor vehicles. Beyond measuring particle number and mass, it is also critical to determine the surface chemical composition of the nanoparticles to understand the potential reactivity with the environment.


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Correlated TERS, TEPL and SPM Measurements of 2D Materials

Correlated TERS, TEPL and SPM Measurements of 2D Materials

This application note reports on nano-characterization of 2D transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) materials which are considered of very high potential semiconductors for future nanosized electronic and optoelectronic devices. Scanning probe microscopy giving access to the critical topographic and electronic properties at the nanoscale is coupled to photoluminescence (PL) and Raman spectroscopies by means of plasmon enhancement to yield correlated electrical and chemical information down to the nanoscale.

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Nanoscale chemical imaging using tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy

This protocol details procedures that will enable researchers to reliably perform TERS imaging using a transmission-mode AFM-TERS configuration on both biological and non-biological samples.

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Tip-Enhanced Raman Imaging of Single-Stranded DNA with Single Base Resolution

The proof of subnanometer resolution using TERS is demonstrated. The authors show direct nucleic acid sequencing using TERS of a single-stranded DNA. TERS signals with a step of 0.5 nm are collected, an optical resolution comparable to the bond length between two adjacent DNA bases.

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Taking the Plunge: Nanoscale Chemical Imaging of Functionalized Gold Triangles in H2O via TERS

Nanoscale chemical imaging in aqueous solution via TERS, with sub-15 nm spatial resolution, is demonstrated. Optical fields of a plasmonic substrate in aqueous solution are directly imaged, showing the potential of TERS to follow chemical transformations at solid-liquid interfaces.

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Probing nano-heterogeneity and aging effects in lateral 2D heterostructures using tip-enhanced photoluminescence

TEPL is used to locally map the distribution of excitonic emission across monolayer MoSe2-WSe2 lateral heterostructures. Aging effects and their extent on the exciton-suppression process are quantitatively evaluated.

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In Situ Nanoscale Investigation of Catalytic Reactions in the Liquid Phase Using Zirconia-Protected Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy Probes

New zirconia-protected TERS probes are introduced and used for nanoscale spatially resolved characterization of a photocatalytic reaction within an aqueous environment.

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Toward High-Contrast AFM-TERS Imaging: Nanoantenna-Mediated Remote-Excitation on Sharp-Tip Silver Nanowire Probes

The study demonstrates the remote-excitation of TERS with fine spatial resolution (10 nm). This solution avoid the laser interaction with the sample substrate and thus is free of Raman background noise.

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Nanoscale Discrimination between Toxic and Nontoxic Protein Misfolded Oligomers with TERS

The potential of TERS in identifying characteristic chemostructural elements of protein oligomeric forms associated with protein deposition diseases is here demonstrated. By exploiting the capability of nanometric resolution, spatial organization and surface character of individual oligomers were carefully inspected.

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Direct Observation of Core–Shell Structures in Individual Lead Titanate Ferroelectric Nanostructures by Tip‐Enhanced Refractive Index Mapping

TERS imaging of individual lead titanate (PbTiO3) nanoislands is reported with a spatial resolution of ~3 nm. TER spectrum of the grain core reflects PbTiO3 close to the ferroelectric‐to‐paraelectric phase transition which is primarily related to the finite size of the grains.

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