Many people have asked me for a copy of this simple figure, showing how the AFM works. It's available for download below as a high quality .ppt file.

 click here to get to powerpoint file

Please note the image is copyright 2010 Peter Eaton, and permission is given only for academic and educational use, excluding publishing. Please contact me if you want to use any other images on this website.

The deadline for our 2015 AFM training workshop has passed, and we cannot take any more registrations. If you want to be informed when the next course is announced, email me. For more details about the courses click here, or download the flyer below.

flyer for 2015 course

I am going to be teaching on two new AFM short courses to be held this summer. The courses are:

AFM Advanced Operation Techniques


AFM Bioapplications

Both of these courses will be taught at the headquarters of AFMWorkshop in California, USA, but will be open to, and suitable for, users of all instruments. The courses will be a mix of lectures and practical work with different microscopes.

Both courses are taking place in mid-July. Follow this link to a .pdf brochure, and consult the AFM Workshop website for more details on these courses.

At the time of writing there are places available on both courses, but places will be very limited. I recommend reserving a place ASAP from AFMWorkshop, if you are interested.

As discussed in the appendices A and B of my book, reference and calibration samples are extremely important for AFM. Calibration samples allow the AFM to make accurate, quantitative measurements. Reference samples can be used for training, and certification, and just to check if the instrument (or the probe) are performing as they should. There's a list of commercially available calibration and reference samples here.

AFM piezoelectric scanners tend to change their responses and age over time, so it's necessary they they be recalibrated periodically (typically annually).  All these repeated uses can lead to reference samples becoming dirty and contaminated. This leads to serious problems, because a contaminated samples cannot be properly used for calibration of an instrument, and may also be difficult to use as a reference sample. The article below explains some techniques that can be used to clean AFM calibration and reference samples. Note that this method o sample cleaning first appeared at I learned the "NewSkin" method while visiting their headquarters.

The Porto AFM Workshop 2017 has been announced. This is our fifth course!


The course will run from the 10th to 13th April. This is a training workshop, aimed at any researcher or scientist, who wants to learn about AFM, or increase their knowledge of the technique. Following the successful courses that have run since 2011, the course will includes several hours hands-on training in acquiring images with the atomic force microscope as well as AFM data processing.


Please click the image below to download the flyer with more details.

afm course flyer PDF



  • More details of the course will be announced soon, meanwhile, as usual, pre-registration can be made by emailing me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.Places on the course are very limited, so interested students should make enquiries or register as soon as possible.

  • There will be some guest scientists, talking about advanced applications in different areas. More details will be announced soon


 A blog with information and student feedback from the previous courses can be seen here: 2014 courseRequimte AFM Workshop 2013

 Some information about the course that took place in 2011 can be seen here:

The course is supported by AFMWorkshop, The Faculty of Sciences of The University of Porto and my research institution, UCIBIO. Thanks to Krystallenia Batziou for po