A new chapter in High-Speed AFM: Molecular dynamics in real-time at 50 frames per second

The NanoRacer® High-Speed AFM marks a quantum leap in quantitative imaging capabilities. The real-time visualization of dynamic biological processes with nanometer resolution has never been easier. The NanoRacer opens a world of new and exciting possibilities for Life Science applications, enabling researchers to gain an in-depth understanding of complex biological systems and molecular mechanisms, in a way not possible until now:

  • Single molecule binding behavior
  • Dynamics in two-dimensional protein assemblies
  • Enzyme activity monitoring
  • Assembly and disassembly processes of protein structures
  • DNA origami assembly
  • Protein/protein interactions
  • Motor protein and membrane trafficking dynamics
  • Virus and bacteria morphology and dynamics

DNA origami nanostructures containing 5 biotin binding sites on mica, imaged in fluid with streptavidin presence in closed-loop at 50 frames/sec.
Click on the image to watch the video.

So many things are still hidden in biological molecules. To uncover their unexplored secrets, there is a true need to directly observe individual molecules during their functional activity. The NanoRacer is the fastest commercial, high-speed AFM available, enabling their direct observation in real-time. A lot of innovative ideas have been incorporated for easy operation and high performance, and it is my utmost wish that many researchers will use the NanoRacer to reach their goals and make exciting discoveries.

Professor Toshio Ando, Nano Life Science Institute (WPI-NanoLSI), Kanazawa University, Japan

Outstanding resolution, renowned stability, remarkable accuracy

Imaging atomic defects and sub-molecular resolution are now routine. The NanoRacer has the lowest noise levels of any commercial AFM system available, thanks to high precision electronics and enhanced accuracy positioning sensors in each axis. The NanoRacer reflects the pioneering work of Bruker’s BioAFM team in combining technological advances with proven stability, sensitivity, and ease of use.

Atomic resolution of calcite crystal step edge, imaged in fluid, 3D topography 15 × 9 nm² , zoom 4 × 4 nm² .

  • Small cantilevers and lowest forces for minimum sample damage
  • Infrared laser photothermal excitation option, for clean cantilever drive, easy setup and minimized perturbance of delicate samples
  • Advanced algorithms for scanner control and feedback
  • Minimized force drift for long-term experiments
  • Highest bandwidth digital electronics, with lowest noise, for maximum performance
  • Cutting-edge, high-speed power amplifier for perfect scanner drive
  • Closed-loop scanning on all axes with minimal noise levels for highest accuracy



Individual DNA molecules imaged in fluid on mica+PLO in closed loop.
Sequences + are imaged at 50 frames/sec. Click on the image to watch the video.

Discover a new user experience - a complete system designed for convenience

  • Easy sample and probe loading
  • Transportable sample carrier for convenient sample preparation on the bench
  • Probe exchange in a few minutes
  • No calibration needed thanks to closed-loop scanner design
  • Easy navigation with integrated camera for locating areas of interest on the sample
  • Fluid exchange via direct injection
  • Newly designed 3-port liquid cell for photothermal excitation

The NanoRacer marks a new chapter in high-speed AFM and relegates complicated, time-consuming procedures to the past. Developed with the user in mind, the resulting robust and reliable design, with a host of new features, make the NanoRacer easy to use, even for newcomers to AFM.

All components are designed for convenient handling, from sample preparation through to fully motorized and automatic optical alignment. The streamlined handling enables easy data collection and fast results. A short time-to-data is vital for achieving dynamic results on active single molecule samples.

  • Automated cantilever alignment
  • Optimized drift compensation
  • Automated photothermal laser alignment option
  • Internal camera with autofocus
  • Automated calibration of cantilever spring constant


Seamless handling for preparation and imaging with the transportable sample scanner. Prepare the sample conveniently on the bench and load into the NanoRacer to image.

Intuitive V7 Software for proven ease-of-use and stunningly sharp images

  • New workflow-based software design, ideal for multi-user environments and imaging facilities
  • User-programmable software for advanced experiments
  • ExperimentPlanner™ enables full control of all system parameters, such as scanning positions, experiment settings or external fluidics modules
  • State-of-the-art data analysis and processing with video creation and intuitive data storage


The closed-loop scanning and convenient interface make it easy to set the location directly from an overview image. Move from place to place with a single click, selecting interesting features and landing wherever you choose, without needing to adjust scan settings.

To scan fragile and mobile sample features at highest speeds and lowest forces, a highly intelligent control software is required

  • Dynamic PID, a key component for the precise investigation of sample morphology
  • Rapid response time for cantilever-deflection detection system is ensured by shortest dead times in feedback loop, fastest electronics and intelligent FPGA algorithms
  • Drift correction of setpoint and automatic detector realignment
  • Cantilever excitation with photothermal option or Bruker’s proven DirectDrive™
  • Highest scan speed with advanced adaptive scanner algorithms

DNA metastable bubble formation and closure, imaged in fluid, in closed-loop, at 2000 lines per second, z-range 1.5 nm. Circles illustrate location of a bubble on DNA molecule ~30 nm in length.

Key Features

Nanoracer Setup


  • Highest imaging speed of 50 frames/sec with outstanding resolution
  • Intuitive V7 software for proven ease-of-use
  • Newly developed high-speed head and scanner unit
  • Automated cantilever alignment
  • Robust concentric design for utmost stability
  • Optimized for small and medium-sized cantilevers
  • Cutting-edge electronics
  • Optional with Bruker’s exclusive PeakForce Tapping



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