News | May 13, 2020

Asylum Research And Covalent Metrology Collaborate To Promote Industrial Applications Of Advanced Atomic Force Microscopy

Partnership Includes Providing Services to Leading Edge Biotech Researchers

Santa Barbara, CA and Sunnyvale, CA /PRNewswire/ - Oxford Instruments Asylum Research and Covalent Metrology Services announced today that the two companies have signed a joint collaboration aimed at further developing and promoting commercial applications for several advanced modes of atomic force microscopy (AFM).

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research designs and manufactures state-of-the-art AFMs for both academic and industrial applications. Scientists at Asylum Research have been on the forefront of leading AFM applications in biology and materials science and have developed a number of unique nanoelectrical and nanomechanical characterization techniques. Advanced modes of AFM can contribute significant understanding of materials and devices being developed by engineers across a range of industries.

Covalent Metrology is a rapidly growing metrology and characterization company that delivers analytical services with a diverse platform. The company is headquartered in Silicon Valley and offers a range of sample measurements services alongside consulting solutions that empower customers to solve challenging technical problems across the United States.

The collaboration will focus on nanoelectrical and nanomechanical characterization of materials with an emphasis on the following areas:

Biological Measurements:

  • Structural and nanomechanical measurements on biological samples including cells, proteins, bacteria, DNA, RNA, lipids

Nanoelectrical measurements:

  • Piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) – functional measurements of electro-mechanical coupling on ferroelectric and piezoelectric materials
  • Conductive AFM (CAFM) – nanoscale current measurements and conductivity mapping
  • Scanning Capacitance Microscopy (SCM) – dopant profiling, capacitance vs. voltage measurements, impedance mapping

Nanomechanical measurements:

  • Stiffness / modulus mapping in the kPa to GPa regime
  • Viscoelastic mapping including loss tangent on polymers
  • Indentation measurements on thin films and soft samples

"AFM is such a powerful technique for understanding a range of materials, characteristics and devices. We are pleased to partner with Covalent, a dynamic analytical service lab, to continue to expand the range of AFM applications into the industrial market segment," stated Andrew Masters, Global VP of Sales and Marketing at Oxford Instruments Asylum Research.

Craig Hunter, CEO of Covalent, stated, "Asylum Research has been providing cutting edge AFM instruments for over 20 years. We are extremely excited to partner with them to proselytize the value of these advanced AFM techniques. And we are particularly excited to be the first analytical services company offering advanced AFM on biological samples."

About Oxford Instrument Asylum Research
Oxford Instruments Asylum Research is the technology leader in atomic force microscopy for both materials and bioscience research. Asylum Research AFMs are widely used by both academic and industrial researchers for characterizing samples from diverse fields spanning material science, polymers, thin films, energy research, and biophysics. In addition to routine imaging of sample topography and roughness, Asylum Research AFMs also offer unmatched resolution and quantitative measurement capability for nanoelectrical, nanomechanical and electromechanical characterization. Recent advances have made these measurements far simpler and more automated for increased consistency and productivity. Its Cypher™, MFP-3D™, and Jupiter™ AFM product lines span a wide range of performance and budgets. Asylum Research also offers a comprehensive selection of AFM probes, accessories, and consumables. Sales, applications and service offices are located in the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, France, India, China and Taiwan, with distributor offices in other global regions.

About Oxford Instruments plc
Oxford Instruments designs, supplies and supports high-technology tools and systems with a focus on research and industrial applications. Innovation has been the driving force behind Oxford Instruments' growth and success for 60 years, supporting its core purpose to address some of the world's most pressing challenges.

The first technology business to be spun out from Oxford University, Oxford Instruments is now a global company and is listed on the FTSE250 index of the London Stock Exchange (OXIG). Its strategy focuses on being a customer-centric, market-focused Group, understanding the technical and commercial challenges faced by its customers. Key market segments include Semiconductor & Communications, Advanced Materials, Healthcare & Life Science, and Quantum Technology.

Their portfolio includes a range of core technologies in areas such as low temperature and high magnetic field environments; Nuclear Magnetic Resonance; X-ray, electron, laser and optical based metrology; atomic force microscopy; optical imaging; and advanced growth, deposition and etching.

Oxford Instruments is helping enable a greener economy, increased connectivity, improved health and leaps in scientific understanding. Their advanced products and services allow the world's leading industrial companies and scientific research communities to image, analyse and manipulate materials down to the atomic and molecular level, helping to accelerate R&D, increase manufacturing productivity and make ground-breaking discoveries.

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research, Inc., Registered office: 6310 Hollister Ave., Santa Barbara, CA, 93117, United States. Registered in California 99-0383271. A subsidiary of Oxford Instruments plc.

About Covalent Metrology Services, Inc.
Covalent Metrology is a new and innovative provider of imaging and characterization services to support R&D, defect analysis, and quality control for companies in the semiconductor, solar, medical device, MEMS and other industries. More information on characterization services offered by Covalent Metrology is available at

Covalent Metrology was founded in 2016 and is based in Sunnyvale, California. Its mission is to help companies who use advanced materials to get better data and insight about key research, development and production programs faster, more easily and less expensively. Covalent has already worked with more than 250 customers from over twenty industries and is growing at more than 30% each quarter.

Source: Covalent Metrology Services, Inc.

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