The History of NANOSENSORS™ AFM Tips

The history of NANOSENSORS™ is also the success story of Dr. Olaf Wolter. His research at IBM Sindelfingen (Germany) led to basic technologies necessary for batch processing of silicon AFM cantilever probes. In 1990 Dr. Wolter founded his own company called NANOPROBE. After further path breaking developments NANOPROBE became the first company worldwide to satisfy the emerging need for high quality AFM sensors.

In 1992/1993 Dr. Wolter changed not only his name to Ohlsson in the course of his marriage but also the name of the company to NANOSENSORS™. Batch processing technologies were further developed to fulfil the demand of an ever growing AFM / SPM community.

The NANSOSENSORS™ silicon AFM probes with an AFM tip radius of less than 10 nm contributed to many scientific breakthroughs. These AFM probes are still famous as 'Wolter-tips' honouring their inventor.

Over the years NANOSENSORS™ extended the range of available AFM cantilever geometries.

The success of our research driven strategy not only became apparent in NANOSENSORS™ steadily growing business but was also publicly acknowledged by several prizes.

  • 1995 "Dr.-Rudolf-Eberle Award", innovation award of the German State of Baden-Wurttemberg (one of the high-tech centres in Germany) for exemplary achievements
  • 1995 Innovation prize awarded by the German industry
  • 1999 "Georg Waeber innovation prize" awarded by the society for the promotion of microelectronics
  • October 2002 NANOSENSORS™ integrated into the Swiss-based NanoWorld AG

NANOSENSORS™ continues to exist as an independent business unit retaining its well known brand name. Both brands NANOSENSORS™ and NanoWorld™ now profit from Dr. Ohlsson's pioneering experience and guidance as consultant to both business units.

  • 2003 NANOSENSORS™ introduces the AdvancedTEC™, a revolutionary new AFM probe type that allows precise positioning and makes the AdvancedTEC™ the only AFM probe in the world that offers REAL TIP VISIBILITY through the optical system of the Atomic Force Microscope - even when the AFM probe is slightly tilted due to its mounting. This makes it the premium choice for all applications where the AFM tip has to be visible (e.g. nanomanipulation).
  • 2003 NANOSENSORS™ appoints NanoAndMore GmbH as its new official distributor for Europe, Turkey and Israel
  • 2004 Introduction of the PointProbe® Plus. The new PointProbe® Plus (PPP) AFM probe combines the well-known features of the proven PointProbe® Series such as high application versatility and compatibility with most commercial AFMs with a further reduced and more reproducible AFM tip radius as well as a more defined AFM tip shape.
  • 2005 Announcement of the Q30K-Plus, a novel scanning proximity AFM probe with an outstanding Q-factor and an enhanced signal to noise ratio for UHV applications.
  • 2006 NANOSENSORS™ changes North American distribution network, NanoAndMore USA Corp., a member of NanoWorld Group, becomes the official distributor for NANOSENSORS™ in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
  • 2007 NANOSENSORS™ introduces the PointProbe® Plus XY-Alignment series that enables XY-auto alignment of AFM probes in conjunction with the usage of the Alignment Chip
  • 2007 NANOSENSORS™ launches Plateau Tip AFM probes series for special applications
  • 2007 NANOSENSORS™ announces that the PointProbe® Plus AFM probe Series is now also available with gold coating
  • 2008 NANOSENSORS™ introduces self-sensing and self-actuating Akiyama probe
  • 2011 NANOSENSORS™ uploads its first Special Development List – a list of specialty AFM probes that are manufactured on demand
  • 2011 NANOSENSORS™ announces a new wear resistant and conductive AFM probe series, the Platinum Silicide AFM probes
  • 2013 NANOSENSORS™ announces the first two screencasts on its YouTube channel
  • 2013 NANOSENSORS™ introduces a completely new AFM probes series called the uniqprobe™. These AFM probes feature unsurpassed uniformity of the AFM cantilever force constant and resonance frequency range, and are especially dedicated for use in life sciences and biology.

At NANOSENSORS™ R&D and production form a close connection ensuring fast implementation of research results. Several cooperations with research institutes and universities in national and international projects will lead to even more innovative tips in the near future, fulfilling the growing requirements of our customers.

Please also visit the Blog and R&D and Special Developments List pages for current developments.