Bart showing his results

Our atomic force microscopy training course for 2017 ran in April, between the 10th 
and the 13th. Once again, the course was a great success, and all the places were filled. In this post, I quote some of the the feedback we got from some of me of the attendees, as well as some of the images they produced. In this edition, the highlight (for me) was the talk from Prof. Bart Hoogenboom, from UCL.

Bart demonstrated some amazing results in AFM, and gave some real inspiration as to what AFM can achieve.

Phase image of E. coli cells

Once again, we had a good mix of students. They came from Wales, Portugal, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Germany. We had PhD students, AFM technicians, lecturers, post-doctoral fellows and industrial researchers. It's always great to have such a wide range of opinions and nationalities!

As usual, we began with the basics of AFM, including instrumentation, modes, and fundamental concepts. Then the more fun parts, how to prepare samples, tips and tricks for running the instruments, and how to process and analyse the data.Most of the students prepared samples, and they all ran the instruments and processed and analysed image files. Based on the feed back, the students thought the course very worthwhile.

"I liked the course a lot. I think it's well-adapted to people with no AFM experience, and it seems it works well also for experienced users"


On the last day, we had a great invited talk from Filomena Carvalho from IMM, talking about force spectroscopy and nanoindentation measurements in biomedical applications. A new addition to this edition was  that we demonstrated force-spectroscopy, and one user was able to scan a sample she brought.


"enjoyed it very much and I will recommend it to my colleagues."

As usual, a highlight was our trip to see the beautiful view over the river Douro and sample the food and wine at Taylor's Port Lodge. We were also lucky with some great hot sunny spring days, and I heard some of our visitors even made it to the beach! A special thank-you this year to Christie for the fantastic poster design, as well and photography (and videography!), and to Maria and Ana for the very professional organisation.

Students learning to use the AFM
"Organisation was excellent and very friendly, to me it represented very good value for money, timetable was relaxed and enjoyable. Porto and the university are a beautiful location."

 Christie even helped my students to run the AFM, so my job was very easy this year. Hopefully this tradition will continue!

More images will appear soon when the winner of the image competition is announced...

Amplitude image of tobacco mosaic virus the students recorded
See you next time in Porto! To find out more about our courses visit
Once again, thanks to FCUP and AFMWorkshop for support of the course.