AFM Workshop

Our goal is to provide access of atomic force microscopes to scientists and engineers with bigger ideas than budgets. We develop innovative atomic force microscopes for researchers, educators, and engineers in innovative fields including nanotechnology and biomaterial research.

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AFMWorkshop offers innovative designs, educational models, and a pricing structure resulting from over 30 years of hands-on Atomic Force Microscope instrument innovation, production and operation throughout the globe. We've leveraged our experience to form a more modern and transparent  type of scientific instrument company that can offer exceptionally performing atomic force microscopes for a fraction of the more traditional AFM company pricing structures.

Atomic force microscopes are designed and manufactured with high-performance and a low-price, creating an opportunity for more accessible AFM use. Our AFMs meet rigorous research application demands, daily industry tasks, and a wide range of educational needs.

Modular AFMs designed and manufactured by AFMWorkshop are now used around the world by researchers in materials and life sciences; by industries in process development and process control for photonics, semiconductor, and other arenas; and by educators for student training and research. AFMWorkshop also works directly with scientists and engineers in creating custom-built innovative instrumentation solutions.  Research published by AFMWorkshop product users is growing at a fast pace.

Customers of AFMWorkshop consistently comment on the amazing value of their instruments and on the depth of quality training and technical assistance available.  


The mission of AFMWorkshop is to develop and market innovative Atomic Force Microscope products and components for research, development, OEMs and education. We support our customers with workshops on the construction, operation and applications of our products. We are committed to an open architecture that facilitates innovation by our customers.

Paul West, Founder of AFMWorkshop

Atomic Force Microscopy Manufacturer Team

Dr. Paul West is the founder of AFMWorkshop. Dr. West began his career working with scanning tunneling microscopes (STM) as a postdoc at the California Institute of Technology in 1983 where he built one of the world's first STMs. His career in the development and application of scanning probe microscopes spans over 30 years.

Paul pioneered the investigation of nanotechnology applications for scanning probe microscope (SPM) technology, resulting in patents for nanoscale motion sensors (US Patent #5,009,111, nanoscale position sensors (US patent #5,257,024) and nanoscale digital mass storage (US patent # 4,956,817).


Innovative SPM products invented by Dr. West include:

  • Fully integrated AFM system having motorized sample positioners, a video microscope and vibration isolation (U.S. Patent #5,291,775).
  • Tip scanning light lever AFM (U.S. Patent # 5,319,960)
  • Resistive scanning thermal sensing probes (U.S. Patent #5,441,343)
  • Integrated AFM with SEM (U.S. Patent #5,455,420)

Dr. West holds patents for many additional AFM/SPM products and applications.

In thirty years of AFM instrument innovation, Dr. West has founded several Atomic Force Microscope manufacturing companies. Over the years, those companies and their patents were acquired by companies such as Agilent Technologies, and ThermoElectron/Veeco/Bruker. Thousands of atomic force microscopes developed by Dr. West are in use throughout the world and have resulted in many scientific publications, Ph.D. dissertations, and technical breakthroughs.

Dr. West is the author of numerous scientific, technical and educational publications and has served on the National Nanotechnology Initiative which resulted in the first major funding program for nanotechnology research in the United States.

Atomic Force Microscope Manufacturer's User Guide

In collaboration with Dr. Peter Eaton, Dr. West has co-authored one of the most widely used texts on the subject, aptly named Atomic Force Microscopy, and published by Oxford University Press in 2010.  You can learn more about the book by visiting our  Atomic Force Microscopy Book web page, Amazon, or Oxford University Press.


A Message From Dr. Paul West





Social Responsibility

AFMWorkshop is committed to corporate social responsibility. Each year we donate at least 5% of our profits to science and engineering educational non-profits, or to grants for nanotechnology researchers. Please let us know if your organization would benefit from this program.

Corporate Governance

AFM Workshop is a privately-held company. Our office is located at 10 Capital Drive, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, 29926


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