Frequently Asked Questions

Q? Our research is highly classified. Does Paramount Sensors sign non-disclosure agreements?

A. Yes. We can provide you with our NDA or you may have your management team send us your NDA. Our NDAs are usually signed much faster than those provided to us. New agreements must first be evaluated by our legal team and require extended processing time.

Q? My group would like to have probes coated with a customized composition. Do you have the capability to use different materials to coat probes?

A. Yes. Clients also have the option of providing their own target materials for coating, allowing their compositions to remain confidential.

Q? My group is interested in a few customized SPM probes to prove a concept. Do you have the capability to customize a small number of probes?

A. Yes. We can offer outstanding quality of customized probes regardless of quantity. We have extensive experience in delivering probes for both production-lines and small R&D groups.

Q? Can Paramount Sensors inspect for us the quality of probes from other manufacturers?

A. Yes. You can arrange for the probes to be directly shipped to us from the manufacturer for qualification. Please contact us in advance for this service.

Q? What does your probe qualification procedure entail?

A. We offer a range of services, which are predetermined with our clients prior to the qualification process. Among these are the following:
  • Cantilever and probe dimensions
  • High-resolution SEM imaging of the tip apex
  • Tip radius-of-curvature and aspect-ratio
  • Exact resonance frequency of the cantilever
  • More services are offered for specialized probes such as SThM, MFM, NSOM/SNOM, Raman, etc..

Q? How will the engineers at Paramount Sensors handle the probes I am planning to ship for qualification?

A. The probes we receive from our clients are handled with extreme diligence. We exercise major precautions to ensure the safety of received probes. In general, the following procedures are taken once a box of probes arrives in our facility:
  • The box is opened in a class 10 cleanroom environment.
  • Optical images of the probes are immediately taken. The client is informed right away if any of the probes seem to be damaged.
  • If needed, the probes are transferred to our carriers and packaged using our packaging procedure (Part 1, Part 2).
  • The probes will then go through a series of assessments, which are predetermined with the client.

Q? I am preparing a grant proposal and would like to incorporate customized SPM probes into the budget. Do you provide estimates for grant proposals with extended expiration dates?

A. Yes. We will work with you to insure you receive all the information you need. A detailed breakdown of the items and services to be provided will be listed for the customized probes. This service is rendered for a fee. Please contact us for more information.

Q? How can I stay informed about new products and services from Paramount Sensors?

A. You can register to be become a member. If approved, we will notify you of any new products, services and promotions via the e-mail you provided.

Q? Do you have any general recommendations on how to handle SPM probes?

A. We recommend the following:
  • Wear a lab coat
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a beard-cover
  • Use powder-less gloves
  • Avoid wearing strong perfume or cologne
  • Clean your work area with alcohol
  • Handle the probes in a cleanroom environment whenever possible

Q? Do you have any general recommendations on how to properly store SPM probes?

A. The best environment to store most SPM probes would be inside a certified desiccator. If your lab does not have a desiccator, we recommend that you use a moisture-protection bag to store the probes. You should place desiccants in the bag and flush it with an inert gas (e.g. N2, Ar, etc.) before sealing it. Our provided moisture-protection bags will virtually not leak once zip-locked. In this way you can prolong both the life of the desiccants and of your probes.

Q? What actions has Paramount Sensors taken to ensure the safe delivery of Premium grade probes?

A.

Paramount Sensors abides by the following protocols for its delivered probes:

  1. Our probe carriers are air flushed in a class 10 cleanroom environment for at least 24 hours before being used.
  2. The probes are transferred to the carriers in a class 10 cleanroom environment.
  3. Optical microscope images of all the cantilevers are taken before closing the carrier.
  4. After closing the carrier, another set of optical images of the probes is taken through the (transparent) lid.
  5. A Seal of Authenticity is placed to connect both the lid and base of the carrier. [Part 1]
  6. The box of probes along with color-coded desiccants is inserted into an ESD-safe zip-lock bag. The bag is then sealed.
  7. The bagged box of probes is then inserted into a secondary moisture-protection zip-lock bag.
  8. The bag is flushed with high purity nitrogen gas (99.9995%), vacuumed, and thermally sealed. The thermal seal is placed above the zip-lock so that the moisture protection bag is reusable after the thermal seal is removed.[Part 2]

Q? After opening the moisture-protection bag from Paramount Sensors, I noticed that the desiccants are colored light blue. Are the desiccants still functional?

A. Yes. In fact, our desiccants are most active when they are colored light-blue. You should thus limit their exposure to ambient conditions as much as possible. The desiccants are saturated (non-functional) when their color turns light-pink.

Q? Why are there three different slots for each probe in your carriers?

A. PSENS Probes CarrierWe took into consideration the needs of our clients as a priority when designing the probes carrier. We designated a rectangular frame for each probe. Within the frame are three images of cantilevers, each with a different letter. Starting from the left: N → New, G Good (Used), and W Worn-out. Probes are shipped to our clients in the 'N' location. After a probe is used for imaging, it may either be placed in the 'G' or 'W' location depending on its condition. The location of each frame in the box is also identifiable with a number (row) and a letter (column). Furthermore, our specifications label is placed on the back of the carrier so it does not interfere with viewing the probes before opening the lid. This way the exposure of the probes to ambient environment is minimized.

Professional services

    • Customized Nanoprobes
    • Sample Investigation
    • Failure Analysis
    • Consulting
    • Training

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