MFP Atomic Force Microscope Enclosure

Asylum Research

Industrial Design, Mechanical Engineering, Medical & Scientific, Industrial

Background and Challenges

Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments company and the technology leader in Atomic Force/Scanning Probe Microscopy. Having worked with Nectar on the industrial and mechanical design for its popular Cypher AFM, the company challenged Nectar to develop a better acoustic hood for its MFP-3D products.

Improving Atomic Force Microscopy with an Innovative Acoustic Hood

Asylum Research sought to differentiate itself from the competition by developing an innovative acoustic hood for its MFP-3D line of AFM products. Instead of relying on the generic acoustic enclosures used widely in the industry, Asylum Research wanted to set itself apart by developing a custom hood with improved performance.

Improving Atomic Force Microscopy with an Innovative Acoustic Hood

Acoustic and Vibration Isolation

While the goal of communicating a brand image of industrial strength, reliability, durability, and robustness was the same, revamping the Printronix family of industrial line matrix and thermal printers was especially challenging because the two types of printers are so different. Industrial line matrix and thermal printers utilize dissimilar technology platforms, require different form factors, handle various label/paper sizes, and serve unrelated markets.

Differentiating from Standard Hoods through Improved Performance

Asylum Research unveiled Nectar’s innovative design for the MFP AFM acoustic hood during the launch of its MFP-3D Infinity product, the flagship of its MFP-3D line, at the Materials Research Society in San Francisco, CA. The new acoustic hood design contributed to remarkable performance improvements, including a 70-percent reduction in XY sensor noise, an 85-percent drop in Z sensor noise, and an overall system height noise level of just 20pm, a third of what it was on the original MFP-3D.


By delivering a better-performing, highly differentiated acoustic hood for the MFP-3D line, Nectar helped Asylum Research introduce a product that enables its customers to achieve higher resolution while still enjoying the unmatched versatility of the MFP-3D product family.