Carbon Design Innovations

Company Background

Carbon Design Innovations develops and manufactures carbon nanotube devices based on a patented, deterministic methodology. The company's initial focus is on manufacturing AFM probes.  The company is relatively new and was founded by AFM and CNT industry veteran and company president, Ramsey M. Stevens in January, 2008. Vance Nau, Ph.D. joined the company as CEO in July 2008. Nau recently led AFM manufacturer Molecular Imaging for five years until its successful acquisition by Agilent Technologies (2).

Strategic Partnerships

Carbon Design Innovations has received funding from many government agencies and was awarded a $390,000 Grant from National Institutes of Health to develop new probes for AFM with the hope of improving bioimaging and investigations in cellular biology (1b). In 2009, CDI raised $400,000 in Series A funding from a group of private investors led by Vance Nau, company CEO. This investment will enable C|D|I to initiate sales and marketing efforts, ramp production of AFM probes and continue development of future products based on its methodology for the manufacture of CNT devices (2).

Innovation and Technology

CDI has developed a patent pending process for the predictable commercial manufacture of carbon nanotube (CNT) devices. This process has the potential to open new markets and significantly expand the use and adoption rate of CNTs for a broad range of applications. C|D|I will develop and produce a line of probe tools for atomic force microscopy (AFM) applications. The next big leap for AFM tools has been acknowledged to hinge on advancements in probe technology. CNT AFM Probes from C|D|I are engineered from the micro to the nanoscale with precise dimensions, angles and material properties offering longer lifetime, higher resolution and greater flexibility than existing solutions. Based on success at several beta sites, the company announced its initial products in 2009 (2).

Carbon Design Innovations has the availability of two new atomic force microscope (AFM) probes types with carbon nanotube (CNT) tips. The CCHAR (carbon core high-aspect ratio) and CCHR (carbon core high-resolution) CNT probes offer quantum improvements for AFM imaging, substantially improving results, reducing overall cost of operation and opening new avenues for research.  Carbon Design Innovations has a patent pending process for the deterministic manufacture of carbon nanotube (CNT) devices. C|D|I probes offer customers flexibility and reproducibility that will enable them to make advances in AFM research. The new CNT AFM probes from C|D|I are compatible with all major AFM systems.   The CCHAR probe offers high-aspect ratio imaging capability and is designed for materials science, metrology and life science applications. It offers stability and durability in a high-aspect ratio probe designed for difficult to resolve scanning operations such as deep-trench imaging. The nominal CNT total probe length is 1u with the exposed CNT length being 500nm. The CCHAR can be mounted onto any AFM Cantilever.   The CCHR probe family provides high-resolution for material science and life science applications. It offers the durability, stability and high resolution capabilities of a multi-wall CNT tip. The nominal total CNT length is 500 nm, with the exposed CNT tip less than 200 nm. It can be mounted onto any AFM cantilever (3).


  • High Resolution AFM probe
  • High Aspect Ration AFM probe
  • Bioprobe for Life Sciences
  • Single Walled Composite probe (1a).


  1. Carbon Design Innovations (2010). Retrieved on December 19, 2012
    1. “Products.” from
    2. Carbon Design Innovations, Inc. Awarded $390,000 Grant from National Institutes of Health to Develop New Probes for Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)” (2009, August 11) from
  2. Nanotechnology Now (2009, June 16). “Carbon Design Innovations, Inc., Developer of Patented Process for the Deterministic Manufacture of Carbon Nanotubes Secures Angel Funding.” Retrieved on December 19, 2012 from
  3. Nanotechnology Now (2009, June 16). “Carbon Design Innovations, Inc. Introduces Carbon Nanotube Probe Technology for Atomic Force Microscopy, CNT-Probes Deliver New Level of AFM Imaging Performance.” Retrieved on December 19, 2012 from