TRIOS, Versatile AFM Optical Coupling Product Image

Versatile AFM Optical Coupling

The TRIOS platform is an advanced research instrument that provides the entry path for researchers in materials science, biology, spectroscopy and photonics. TRIOS is the most versatile optical coupling platform providing three ports for optical spectroscopy measurements with top-down, side (oblique) and inverted accesses to the AFM tip and sample.

If you work with opaque and/or transparent samples, either in air or in liquid looking at nanoscale structures and near-field optical properties investigation, the TRIOS platform is the right solution for you. It perfectly combines upright optical, inverted optical, and atomic force microscopies, and unleash all the power of both techniques providing instrument adjustment and measurement automation, high resolution and integration flexibility. Such performance is only available from HORIBA.

TRIOS can be easily combined to our turn-key Raman/PL systems for co-localized AFM-Raman/PL measurements, Scanning Near-Field Optical Microscopies (SNOM), and Tip-Enhanced Optical Spectroscopies (TERS: Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy and TEPL: Tip-Enhanced Photoluminescence).

Segment: Scientific
Manufacturing Company: HORIBA France SAS

Simultaneous optical accesses

The TRIOS platform combines upright and transmission configurations which allows to study transparent as well as non-transparent samples with optical, Raman, Photoluminescence and scanning probe microscopy techniques.

The TRIOS platform is a triple port configuration that brings all possible configurations into a unique platform and offers optimized solution for laser-to-tip alignment (with objective scanners).

Two simultaneous optical accesses are possible (from top and side, from side and bottom, from top and bottom).

Extraordinary productivity and easy operation

TRIOS is equipped with the fully motorized CombiScope AFM featuring automated click-on-a-button laser-to-tip alignment. The fully motorized cantilever holder and photodiode positioning dramatically simplify the entire system adjustment process and provide the highest level of system reproducibility. In addition, after you installed a new cantilever of the same or even of a different type, the same region of interest (within a few microns repeatability) on your sample surface can be easily found and scanned without any extra searching step.

Top level scanner

TRIOS, equipped with the CombiScope AFM, utilizes the closed loop, high-dynamics, 3-axis piezo-nanopositioning scanner from the leader in precision motion control, Physik Instrumente. The top-level scanner is the heart of the system which enables it to achieve very high levels of linearity, the highest possible robustness and extremely high precision motion.

1300 nm AFM laser

The use of 1300nm AFM laser eliminates any interference with VIS light-sensitive biological and semiconductor samples. It also makes it possible to perform simultaneous AFM and fluorescence or Raman scattering measurements without any crosstalk for most popular UV-VIS-NIR (364-830 nm) excitation lasers.

Solutions for working in liquid

The standard TRIOS sample holders accommodate all common sample substrates, including slides, coverslips, and 35 mm Petri dishes. The special design liquid cell with heating and liquid perfusion capabilities allows for carefully maintaining biological samples in their physiological environment and at temperatures up to 60°C.

All operating modes in one single instrument

The TRIOS platform comes with all modern AFM operating modes in one instrument, without any extra costs and units. It includes such application-specific modes as force mode, and nanolithographies, piezoelectric force microscopy (PFM), Kelvin Probe Microscopy and frequency modulation AFM (dynamic force microscopy with built-in PLL). In addition, the scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) head and the conductive AFM unit operating in the range 100 fA – 10 µA (with 1 nA, 100 nA, and 10 µA subranges software switchable and current noise of 60 fA RMS for 1 nA subrange) and near-field optical microscopy (SNOM) head are available as options. TRIOS can also be easily combined to our turn-key Raman/PL systems for co-localized AFM-Raman/PL measurements and Tip-enhanced optical spectroscopies (TERS: Tip-Enhanced Raman spectroscopy and TEPL: Tip-Enhanced Photoluminescence).

Such exceptional versatility of the instrument makes it a perfect solution for nanosciences.

TRIOS Measuring Modes

  • Basic modes:
    • Contact AFM
    • Semicontact AFM
    • True Non-contact AFM
    • Top Mode™
    • Phase Imaging
    • Dissipation Force Microscopy
    • Contact AFM in liquid (optional)
    • Semicontact AFM in liquid (optional)
  • Electrical modes:
    • Single / Double pass Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy (KPFM) AM and FM
    • Capacitance Microscopy (SCM)
    • Single / Double pass Electric Force Microscopy (EFM)
    • Piezo Response Force Microscopy (PFM)
    • PFM with High Voltage (optional)
    • PFM-Top mode™
    • Conductive AFM (optional)
    • Conductive AFM High Voltage (optional)
    • I-Top mode™ (optional)
    • I-V Spectroscopy (optional)
    • Photocurrent Mapping (optional)
    • Volt-ampere characteristic measurements (optional)
  • Nanomechanical modes:
    • Lateral Force Microscopy (LFM)
    • Force Modulation Microscopy (FMM)
    • Force Curve Measurement (Force Distance (F-D) Spectroscopy and Mapping)
    • Nanolithography
    • Nanomanipulation
  • Special modes:
    • Single / Double pass Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM)
    • Tunable Magnetic Field (optional)
    • Shear-force Microscopy with tuning fork (ShFM)
    • Normal-force Microscopy with tuning fork (optional)
  • Others:
    • Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) (optional)
    • Scanning Tunneling Spectroscopy (optional)


TRIOS Optical Access and Microscope

  • Simultaneous optical access:
    • From the bottom with up to 1.49 NA oil immersion objective
    • From the top with up to 100× 0.7 NA objective
    • From the side (optional) with up to 100× 0.7 NA objective
  • Closed loop piezo Objective Scanner for ultra-stable long term spectroscopic laser alignment
    • Range 30 µm × 30 µm × 10 µm / Resolution: 1 nm


TRIOS Scanner

  • Sample scanning range: 100 µm × 100 µm × 15 µm (+/-10%) / Optional scanning range: 200 µm × 200 µm × 20 µm (+/-10%)
  • Non-linearity: XY < 0.05%, Z < 0.05%
  • Noise:
    • < 0.1 nm RMS in XY dimension in 100 Hz bandwidth with capacitance sensors on
    • < 0.02 nm RMS in XY dimension in 100 Hz bandwidth with capacitance sensors off
    • < 0.1 nm RMS in Z dimension in 1000 Hz bandwidth with capacitance sensor on
    • < 0.03 nm RMS in Z dimension in 1000 Hz bandwidth with capacitance sensor off
  • X, Y, Z movement:
    • XY resonance frequency 7 kHz (unloaded)
    • Z resonance frequency 15 kHz (unloaded)
  • Digital closed loop control for X, Y, Z axes



  • Maximum 50.8 mm × 50.8 mm, 5 mm thickness and up to 100 mm × 100 mm with special holder
  • Manual sample positioning range: 25 mm × 25 mm
  • Optional motorized sample positioning range: 22 mm × 22 mm
  • Motorized SPM measuring head positioning range: 1.6 mm × 1.6 mm
  • Motorized approach: 1.3 mm



  • Laser wavelength: 1300 nm
  • No influence of registration laser on photovoltaic measurements or on biological samples
    Avoid optical interferences for Raman application
  • Fully motorized: 4 stepper motors for automatic cantilever and photodiode alignment
  • Free access to the probe for additional external manipulators and probes


TRIOS Options

  • Conductive Unit (Current range 100 fA – 10 µA / 3 current subranges (1 nA, 100 nA and 10 µA) software switchable)
  • Liquid Cell / Electrochemical Cell (Liquid exchange capability)
  • Temperature control for liquid cell (heating up to 60°C)
  • Humidity control system (Relative humidity range 10-85% / Relative humidity stability ±1%)
  • Heating Cooling module (from -50°C to +100°C)
  • Heating module (heating up to 300°C / Temperature stability 0.1°C)
  • Heating module (heating up to 150°C / Temperature stability 0.01°C)
  • Combined Shear-force and Normal-force tuning fork holder
  • STM holder
  • Signal Access Module



  • Omega:
    • Automatic alignment of registration system
    • Automatic configuration with preset parameters for standard measuring techniques
    • Automatic cantilever resonance frequency adjustment
    • Macro language “Lua” for programming user functions, scripts, and widgets
    • Capability to reprogram DSP macro language of the controller in real-time without reloading control software
    • Spring constant calibration (Thermal method)
  • IAPro:
    • Process images in coordinate space including making cross-sections, fitting, and subtracting polynomial (up to 12 degrees) surface
    • FFT processing with the capability to treat images in frequency space including filtration and analysis
  • Processing: up to 5000 pixel × 5000 pixel images.


Controller electronics

  • Modular, fully digital, expandable controller
  • High speed DSP 300 MHz
  • ADC: 20 channels
  • High speed 500 kHz 18-bit ADCs for scanner position sensor
  • 5 MHz frequency range registration system
  • 2 lock-in amplifiers with 5 MHz frequency range
  • 6 digital 32–bit generators 5 MHz frequency range, 0.018 Hz resolution
  • 7 stepper motors control
  • Digital outputs for integration with external equipment
  • Analog input/outputs for integration with external equipment
TERS Characterization of Explosive Nanoparticles
TERS Characterization of Explosive Nanoparticles
It is not yet understood how co-crystal nanoparticles (co-crystallinity combined with nanostructuring) have superior properties to single compound crystals. Only a technique capable of probing single nanoparticles can bring answers.
c-AFM and in operando TERS & µRaman Characterization of Molecular Switching in Organic Memristors
c-AFM and in operando TERS & µRaman Characterization of Molecular Switching in Organic Memristors
Emergence of organic memristors has been hindered by poor reproducibility, endurance stability scalability and low switching speed. Knowing the primary driving mechanism at the molecular scale will be the key to improve the robustness and reliability of such organic based devices.
Correlated TERS and KPFM of Graphene Oxide Flakes
Correlated TERS and KPFM of Graphene Oxide Flakes
Visualizing the distribution of structural defects and functional groups present on the surface of two-dimensional (2D) materials such as graphene oxide challenges the sensitivity and spatial resolution of most advanced analytical techniques.
AFM-TERS measurements in a liquid environment with side illumination/collection
AFM-TERS measurements in a liquid environment with side illumination/collection
Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) associated to Raman spectroscopy has proven to be a powerful technique for probing chemical properties at the nanoscale. TERS in liquids will bring promising results in in-situ investigation of biological samples, catalysis and electrochemical reactions.
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.
Correlated TERS, TEPL and SPM Measurements of 2D Materials
Correlated TERS, TEPL and SPM Measurements of 2D Materials
Many challenges remain before the promise of 2D materials is realized in the form of practical nano-devices. An information-rich, nanoscale characterization technique is required to qualify these materials and assist in the deployment of 2D material-based applications.
Characterization of MoS2 Flakes using TEOS
Characterization of MoS2 Flakes using TEOS
Both TEPL and TERS images are well correlated with AFM morphological images obtained simultaneously, and all are consistent in revealing the nature (number of layers) of MoS2 flakes. Upon deconvolution, the TEPL signal is even capable of revealing local inhomogeneities within a MoS2 flake of 100 nm size. Kelvin probe measurement supports TEPL and TERS measurements and adds to the power of such tip-enhanced combinative tools. TEOS characterization of 2D materials is likely to contribute to further deployment of these materials into commercial products through a better understanding of their electrical and chemical properties at the nanoscale.
Characterization of Carbon Nanotubes Using Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (TERS)
Characterization of Carbon Nanotubes Using Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (TERS)
The use of TERS to reveal the defects density in the structure of CNTs is of interest for a better understanding of the electrical properties of the devices made with such nano-objects. Not only defects concentration but also local chirality changes from the different radial breathing modes, pressure effect and strain distribution can be studied at the single carbon nanotube level through TERS.
Characterization of Graphene using TERS
Characterization of Graphene using TERS

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