We Research Surface Force Interactions and Produce SFA Systems

Clients Include

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What’s New

Dear SFA Community and Friends,

As most of you are aware, our founder Professor Jacob Israelachvili passed away on September 20, 2018 surrounded by family and without pain.  Jacob will be deeply missed – his scientific acumen and one-of-a-kind personality touched many.  I am very happy to have had the chance to work closely with Jacob over these last 5 years.

Jacob’s SurForce business will continue to support the SFA community – providing SFA Systems, SFA Attachments (including custom engineered), SFA supplies, and repair services as before.

Additionally in our Santa Barbara facility, SurForce has added Measurement/Research Services and SFA new user training (SFA Boot Camp). We also offer onsite visits to our customer’s lab for SFA support services such as SFA relocation, setup, maintenance and training.

We are happy to announce that we have added Dr. Matthew Tirrell (University of Chicago) and Dr. Hongbo Zeng (University of Alberta) to our Advisory Board to keep our lab connected to top minds in the field.

My contact information is below if you have questions, need a quote, or would like to chat about a Jacob story!

Best regards,

Jeff Scott

SurForce, LLC

Our Systems

Our Surface Forces Apparatus (SFA) systems combined with multiple-beam interferometry can measure forces (static- equilibrium or dynamic- non-equilibrium) between two surfaces in vapors or liquids with a sensitivity of a few nN and a distance resolution of 1Å (0.1 nm).


The uSFA, or micro-SFA, is a new, compact, microscope-ready SFA for measuring the normal forces between surfaces and other interfacial phenomena. The compact chamber accommodates typical short focal length, large diameter, objectives needed for fluorescence, confocal and other common high magnification microscopy techniques.

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SFA 2000

The SFA 2000 is our full-featured configurable SFA offering the imposition and measurement of both normal and shear forces. Friction configurations (FD-SFA) support 1D and 2D friction sensing and load sensing using either metal-film, or high-sensitivity semiconducting, strain gauging.

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Client’s Testimonials


"The SFA technique is the gold standard for measuring forces between surfaces.”

University of California Davis, Chemical Engineering and Material Sciences

"I don't know of another technique that can simultaneously measure surface forces, absolute surface separation and provide direct visualization of the contact area to unequivocally determine the surface energy.”

Dean & Pritzker Director, Institute for Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago

"The SurForce team is very helpful in achieving our research needs.  I am looking forward to acquiring the new uSFA to complement our SFA 2000."

Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST)

"The SFA is critical to our research needs. The SurForce Team provided us with an SFA turn-key system greatly simplifying our procurement and continues to support system customization through insightful and comprehensive engineering design services."

School of Materials Science & Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Current SFA Users

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