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MNMDL awarded NSF-PFI funding to develop "Multi-Channel Probe Systems for Multi-Functional Atomic Force Microscopy."

NSF’s Partnerships for Innovation program seeks to translate higher education research into societal benefits, while supporting collaborative projects with commercialization viability. Cho received funding in the amount of $200,000 to commercialize an atomic force microscopy (AFM) tool for enhanced materials characterization.

A previous NSF-funded project enabled Cho and her team to design the new tool: an AFM probe that significantly enhances the capabilities of current technology. The invention equips the AFM probe with two independent channels—unlike one channel for conventional probes—to characterize material properties beyond topological information.

Now, the new NSF-PFI funding will support the team in commercializing that technology.

Cho, who directs the Micro/Nano Multiphysical Dynamics Laboratory, describes the impact of the award. “With the funding, our team will develop a batch microfabrication process of the new probe design and demonstrate its functionality in customer settings, which will facilitate the transfer of technology to AFM industry,” she said.