On Asylum Research Support and Staff

“I have to say, of all the instruments in my care, from FACS to multiphoton to laser tweezers to CT scanners to PCR machines to AFM, you guys are hands down the best when it comes to customer care and support!!!! Thanks for all your help over the last couple years!!!”

Chris Bjornsson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

“Many companies say they provide great service and support, but consistently fail to do so. Asylum Research, on the other hand, proves every day how much they care about their customers by providing the best service and support in the industry. Truly exceptional.”

Scott MacLaren, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)

“We use Asylum Research AFMs for their great resolution and precision and for the pleasure of dealing with such knowledgeable and helpful customer support.”

Sonia Contera, Oxford University

“This must be the best warranty in the business.”

Jan Lofvander, AFM Lab Manager, CNSI, UCSB

AR once again proves it has excellent customer service!”

Eric Darling, Brown University

“As a fairly young research institute it was important for us to purchase only the best instrumentation available, both to attract the best researchers and to ensure immediate scientific competitiveness. As such, Asylum Research was a natural choice.”

Lars Niemann, CSI, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany

“I called technical support this morning (3/10/2010) with a few questions concerning our instrumentation, and I spoke with Alejandro. He was very insightful and helped me understand what my instrument (MFP-3D) was doing. I felt this was above and beyond the usual tech support calls I make to asylum, which are already fantastic.”

Thomas Mullen, University of California, Davis

“Asylum (and Atomic Force F&E) support is great – you can talk directly to the scientists and engineers – there is no barrier.”

Thorsten Hugel, Technical University of Munich


On the MFP-3D AFM

“I am so pleased that I decided to purchase the MFP-3D-BIO AFM and am also quite happy with how great it has been to work with you folks at Asylum. There is huge excitement here and I do feel that it has allowed our work to be taken to a completely different level – and to enable us to make some pretty profound observations that may prove relevant for cancer diagnosis/prognosis and perhaps even therapy. The whole mechano field is just blowing wide open, not just in cancer but in an array of fields. We have created so much interest in using this approach in biology that there are loads of folks who want to collaborate, both inside and outside UCSF.”

Valerie M. Weaver Ph.D., Director and Professor, Center for Bioengineering and Tissue Regeneration , University of California at San Francisco

“The MFP 3D’s popularity is spreading like wildfire through our institute – students, PhD students and post-docs all want to measure with the AFM. To cope with the flood of requests we’ve had to start an online calendar and now even the neighbouring institutes are applying for MFP-time!”

Thomas Teubner, Leibniz Institute for Crystal Growth, Berlin

One of main obstacles to improving plastic solar cell performance is the lack of morphological control for solar cell materials, as well as understanding of device physics. Conductive and photoconductive AFM are currently the only techniques shedding light into device operation.

Integrating inverted optical microscopy and a light source, the MFP-3D-BIO AFM from Asylum Research provides both Conductive AFM when the light source is off and Photoconductive AFM under illumination. In the dark condition, information on charge transport can be extracted, such as conductive pathways and local mobility relating to formation of bicontinuous networks of donor and acceptor. Under illumination, charge generation and charge collection indicating device performance can be obtained. With such capabilities and reliability, The MFP-3D is the most powerful system for deeply understanding chemical structure/processing condition/device performance relationships. Another excellent function is that with MFP-3D AFM, the origin of local open-circuit voltage can be elucidated by light intensity dependence studies. These are the reasons why we have chosen the MFP-3D for studying solar cells.”

Xuan-Dung Dang, University of California, Santa Barbara

“Our MFP-3D-BIO is a technological treasure. We have coupled our AFM with a fluorescence microscope and added environmental control and have as a result a platform of exceptional precision. This versatile instrument has allowed us to efficiently perform experiments on light-sensitive nanoparticles, clays, and bacterial biofilms, as well as perform nanomanipulations of epi-structures of bacteria, including molecular stretching and biomolecular recognition. We are now going to upgrade our system with a BioHeater to perform experiments on chemical and enzymatic kinetics with controlled temperature.”

Grégory Francius, Université de Nancy

“Asylum might like to know that my purchase of your very first MFP instrument all those years ago has lead to me being awarded the 2010 Biophysical Society U.S. Genomics Award for Outstanding Investigator in the Field of Single Molecule Biology – the MFP is still my only AFM and is still turning out great data!”

Jane Clark, Cambridge University

“I think the biggest way the MFP-3D-BIO has helped us is by providing a very easy way to measure forces in liquid – otherwise we would not have been able to do all this.”

Postdoc Researcher at US Government Institute


On the Cypher AFM

“The Cypher is the best AFM I have ever used. For our group it has allowed seamless integration of spectroscopic modes for probing contact mechanics in polymers, ionic diffusion in energy storage and generation materials, and polarization switching in ferroelectrics and multiferroics in one flexible, high-stability platform. Cypher makes the work we do possible.”

Stephen Jesse, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

“Cypher, from my understanding the first one built, generated publication-quality data on the show room floor at MRS 2008. I think this says it all, an AFM so stable it can image molecular conformation in protein nanofabrics ~10nm thick in the old Hynes exhibition hall with thousands of people in attendance and trains running underneath. Cypher clearly sets the standard in terms of performance. Plus, Asylum Research also has the best service in the business.”

Adam Feinberg, Harvard University

“Our new Cypher system is exceptional in terms of performance, automation, imaging speed and ease of use. I’m already recommending Cypher to my AFM colleagues.”

Bryan Huey, University of Connecticut

“Cypher is truly the first third generation AFM. The Asylum Research folks have looked at everything that limited AFM performance in the past and addressed all of them in this new design. Cypher has better resolution, less noise, less drift, is more accurate, is able to scan faster and, on top of that, is the easiest to use AFM I have ever seen — and I’ve seen pretty much all of them while doing AFM since the first DI AFM was introduced 20 years ago.

In terms of speed and ease of use, my student timed how long it took him to be successfully imaging from the time he walked in the door — 90 seconds! He accomplished in two hours what would have taken a whole day on our existing Veeco AFM. I had previously burned months of graduate student effort on AFM projects that were not successful in getting the images we wanted. With the Cypher we can get most of these images the first time – much faster than before and without using special cantilevers.”

Bruce Parkinson, University of Wyoming


On Asylum Research AFM Courses

“The AFM in Biology Class, April 13-15, 2011 was very instructive. The literature, on-hands sample preparation labs and imaging sessions on the MFP-3D BIO and Cypher were very useful and applicable to our research endeavors at the College of Medicine’s Microscopy Imaging Center, University of Vermont. The staff was outstanding in that they made you feel like a part of a caring family; since the class, the ongoing correspondence and assistance has been stupendous. Being housed at the Best Western Inn location of Santa Barbara, CA and experiencing outstanding weather made for a very relaxing atmosphere for scholarship. It was great to see folks I had dealt with in the past; connecting faces to names. I had correspondence in years past with Sophia when she was with DI/Veeco and I had met Nick Geisse as well as notable Jason Cleveland at the John Hopkins BioAFM Course with eminent Jan Hoh in July 2000. Getting to know other folks with Asylum Research and meeting fellow AFM users was congenially refreshing. Oh, the barbecue festivities was an outstanding group soirée. Thanks for the hospitality and great course.”

Anthony Quinn, University of Vermont

“I’d like to thank you for all your kindness, time and effort you’ve put into making your Nanomechanics class a great experience for all of us. Everything was so at ease, informal and incredibly fun. All instructors were so attentive and the lectures were so informative, that I’m sure what I’ve learned there will be very helpful at my work.”

Luciana Moreira Seara, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG)/FUNDEP

“I attended Asylum’s AFM class for biologists several years ago. It’s composed of a series of seminars and hands-on experiments that are very helpful for AFM biological practices. Enjoy!”

Zhao Deng, Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, National Institute of Standards and Technology

“I recently attended Asylum’s AFM in Biology Class without much AFM experience and was skeptical about how much knowledge and experience I could gain in just three days. The class turned out to be way above my expectations: it was very well organized with classroom lectures balanced with hands-on exercises. There were never more than two students per microscope. The instructors were all experts in their fields and very approachable. The atmosphere at Asylum was relaxed and fun, making the class extremely enjoyable. Oh, I should also mention that they fed us really well!”

Fettah Kosar, Technical Manager, Center for Nanoscale Systems, Harvard University

“Thank you so much for your hospitality during the Summer 2011 Nanomechanics Class. Your technical knowledge and abilities are staggering. You guys are wicked smart! The icing on the cake is that every single person I encountered at Asylum was helpful, gracious, and friendly. From lunch on the bluffs to the networking events, everyone was welcoming and professional. Thank you!”

Robin Kalinich, Sandia National Labs

“You all did a remarkable job in all areas! I am especially grateful for your sincere willingness to help each of us and the time and energy you spent with me to help, explain, guide and think together about my results. But above all you shared with us your love of the AFM, which couldn’t possibly be ignored, and gave us an insight into a very special company.”

Yael Dror, Oxford University


On IGOR Pro Open Source

“The open source nature of the Asylum Research software combined with the powerful data analysis framework of Igor Pro has enabled unprecedented flexibility in both data collection and analysis within the Jarvis group. The ability to apply custom control routines has allowed us to develop a number of bespoke online experiments including realtime thermal Z drift correction for constant indentation depth force curves, and synchronisation routines that allow the triggered capture of confocal images when performing cell indentations at a specified depth and/or force. We have also been able to develop an array of custom offline data analysis packages within the group which have extend our capabilities to include blind tip reconstruction, quantitative frequency modulation (FM) data analysis, and automated analysis of cell mechanics indentation data.”

Jason Kilpatrick, Jarvis Group, Conway Institute, University College Dublin, Ireland