Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM) using Tosca Atomic Force Microscope

MFM phase image reveals the distribution of domains with different magnetic properties at micro- and nanometer scale.


Magnetic force microscopy (MFM) is a special mode in atomic force microscopy (AFM) used to characterize the magnetic properties of materials near their surface. MFM was first introduced by Martin & Wickramasinghe in 1987 shortly after the invention of AFM in early 1980s by Binnig, Gerber and Quate[1- 3]. MFM utilizes a magnetic cantilever to sense the magnetic stray field near the sample surface. It relies on the local magnetostatic interaction between the magnetic cantilever and the sample. The strength of interaction determines the motion of the cantilever normally in the vertical direction along the tip axis.


  • 1. Martin Y. and Wickramsinghe H.K. Magnetic imaging by ‘force microscopy’ with 1000 Å resolution, 1987, Appl.-Phys. Lett. 50, 1455.
  • 2. Binning, C.F. Quate and Ch. Gerber, Atomic Force Microscope, 1986, Phys. Rev. Lett. 56, 930
  • 3. Voigtlaender B. Scanning probe microscopy, 2015, ISBN 978-3-662-45240-0

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