Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Biophysics

pp 984-987

High-Speed Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)

  • Toshio AndoAffiliated withDepartment of Physics and Bio-AFM Frontier Research Center, Kanazawa University Email author 


Fast scanning force microscopy


High-speed AFM (HS-AFM) is a type of atomic force microscopy (AFM) that, unlike conventional AFM, can take an image very quickly and with relatively low imaging force, therefore allowing for visualizing the dynamic behavior of biomolecules.


AFM can take high-resolution images of objects in various environments. In particular, its in-liquid imaging capability is useful for biological research. However, the imaging rate of conventional AFM is too low to capture dynamic processes of biomolecules (DNA, proteins). HS-AFM has been developed to overcome this problem by optimizing all devices contained in the instrument for fast scanning and by newly developing fast and precise control techniques (Ando et al. 2001, 2008). The imaging rate of the current HS-AFM has reached 15–25 frames per second (fps) for a scan range of ∼240×240 nm2 with 100 scan lines. By further reducing the scan range, the imaging rate ...

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