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Controller Base Package Software

The software is the instrument! Find out how the Nanonis software can respond to the highest demands in SPM applications. With its track record for reliability, the Nanonis controller can significantly increase day-to-day efficiency and productivity. Also, the completely redesigned user interface makes it even more enjoyable to master complex scientific experiments.

  Software Handling

The Nanonis software is based on the latest developments in programming techniques and signal processing. With its modular architecture and multi-window application all data are acquired simultaneously and transmitted to all modules at all times. Only the windows and functions necessary for the current experiment need to be open compared of an interface with a single window that often will have irrelevant sections displayed  using valuable screen real estate. The window layout and settings can be stored and recalled at the click of a button for quick experiment switching.

  Optimized User Experience

The software design has been optimized for more efficient workflow, resulting in a streamlined and simpler design. With software-instruments becoming more and more of a standard, the software departs from its hardware ties and makes any user feel at home quicker thanks to its modern, yet timeless design.

  128 Live Signals

128 signals: Up to 24 Inputs, up to 40 outputs plus internal signals for a total of 128 signals, 24 of which are seamlessly accessible throughout the entire Nanonis software. Any signal can be selected in any module for feedback, spectroscopy or noise analysis. The distinction between inputs and outputs is blurred to provide a more powerful experimental platform. All operations between signals are performed in the digital domain with intuitive software-control without the drawbacks of analog signal processing. Signals are displayed in physical units using a floating point representation with assigned SI units for immediate quantitative results. Up to 24 signals can be streamed to disk at full real-time speed.

  Interactive Scan Control

Three modes are integrated in this module: 'Scan', 'Follow-me' and 'Spectroscopy'. All scan parameters can be adjusted on-the-fly without delay during scanning, and it is possible to zoom, navigate and paste multiple scanned images to the background for reference. Any of the 24 signals can be displayed in multiple windows. Pause then resume scan with no data loss after tip cleaning, spectroscopy, or manipulation. The motion of the tip is visualized in real-time when scanning or positioning with the mouse.

  Multipass scanning

Scan control supports multi-pass scanning, where a single line can be scanned multiple times with different parameters for each trip over the surface. For each pass, bias and feedback setpoint can be changed. Furthermore it is possible to record a channel, e.g. topography, and then play it back in the following path - a typical MFM application. For complete freedom and flexibility the user can call a homegrown LabVIEW program to change all settings after each pass, or combine MultipPass with scripting functions to allow very fast execution of experiments.

  2D and 3D Spectroscopy

Advanced spectroscopy modules allow for experiments at a point, along a line, a cloud or a grid, including combined grid and scanning mode that can have different pixel densities. All pattern types can run scripted spectroscopy.
  • Z-spectroscopy with user-defined retract condition. Dual-setpoint retract condition for Z-spectroscopy on molecules.
  • Bias spectroscopy with up to 20’000 pixels/s, variable bias point spacing and 7 timing parameters available before, during and after the spectroscopy sweep. Fast synchronization with external instruments at each point with TTL trigger lines
  • Generic sweeper: sweep one of 13 possible signals (8 physical outputs and 5 internally calculated) while recording any other channels.
  • Fast custom experiments with real-time scripting
  • Custom experiments programmed in the Programming Interface


SafeTip™ takes care of retracting the tip instantaneously should a potentially harmful event be detected. The function is not only very fast, but also highly configurable and offers a variety of options to limit time loss and optimize safety for the tip.
  • The SafeTip™ signal can be different than the feedback signal. For example excitation when controlling on frequency shift
  • Any signal or calculated signal can be used for SafeTip™
  • Several options available once SafeTip™ engages: Keep tip retracted or release after a certain time, continue the scan after a certain wait time, pause the scan
  • Withdraw target position can be specified and optimized to reduce piezo creep
  • Z-motor can be engaged to withdraw the tip. For example when SafeTip™ is working on a temperature signal

  Spectrum Analyzer, Graphs and Oscilloscopes

  • dual channel oscilloscope with post- and pre-trigger 
  • spectrum analyzer: continuous display of any of the 128 channels
  • signal charts and history: rolling charts for continuous data monitoring and acquisition
  • long term spectrum: record data over hours or days to discriminate environmental effects from the microscope measurements.
All analyzers, graphs and oscilloscopes are completely independent and can run at the same time as image scans and spectroscopy allowing the same channels to be acquired in the time- and frequency domain as well as in a conventional manner simultaneously.

  Mathematical operations between signals

All 128 internal signals are available for calculations, and the calculated signals are accessible to all software modules. At the same time, all calculated signals can also be routed to any of the analog outputs.
  • Available calculations: +,-,*,/,log,offset, and combinations thereof
  • Parallel ramping of multiple signals with scaling factors and offsets 
  • Z-Feedback on calculated signals is possible

  External instruments

The external Devices module allows control and readout of up to 4 parameters from external instruments (magnet power supplies, AWGs, RF sources, lasers, temperature controllers,...), as long as these have LabVIEW drivers. The Programming Interface add-on module is not required.
  • Up to 4 input and 4 output instruments or parameters of the same instrument
  • Sweep instruments and acquire data with the generic sweeper
  • Display live data in the long-term chart
  • Extremely simple driver configuration in LabVIEW

  Open File Format

The Nanonis file format (.sxm) for scan images, binary file format (.3ds) for experiment on a grid and ASCII file format for simple experiments are described in details in the contextual help. Most processing software such as SPIP, Mountains, Gwyddion, WSxM and SPIW open Nanonis files. The file header can be read directly in Notepad++. Matlab, Python, and LabVIEW routines are provided for customized post-data processing.


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nanonis   News & Events
Nanonis SO5/TSO 16-channel signal source released

The SO5 and TSO are 16-channel precision, low-noise analog output add on modules for the Nanonis SPM Control System and the Nanonis Tramea quantum transport measurement system. Nanonis Tramea users can profit from up to 48 temperature-stabilized 20-bit signal sources able to control even the most complex nanostructures. More information about the new instrument can be found here

New application note library online

Announcing our two new application notes galleries to highlight results from our SPM control system as well as the new Nanonis Tramea QTMS.

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