Mr. Daniel Bijl

CEO, SmartTip BV

The Netherlands

Is there a place for probe based manufacturing (QC) in Industry?


The Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) and other scanning probe based instruments (SPM) moved from a laboratory oddity to a required robust research and test instrument. Over the last decade instruments have been perfected. However the SPM market is stalling and growth mostly results from new applications based on innovative probe concept (new functionality). Industrial use is low due to the inherent slow imaging speed. Whether recent development of high speed system will improve the situation remains to be seen.

Therefore the question rises whether there is any future at all in Industry for probe based instruments. The presentation will discuss recent developments and their potential for industrial use and new markets addressed by innovative probe concepts developed by SmartTip and its partners. Particularly the potential of probe based 3D metal printing will be highlighted.


Daniel is founder and CEO of SmartTip Probe Solutions. SmartTip is a high tech spin off company of the MESA+ Institute for Nano Technology at the University of Twente, The Netherlands.

SmartTip specializes in the mirco-technology based production of silicon and silicon-nitride based special (SPM) probe designs for niche applications. Based on his technology background, Daniel has brought a special emphasis on probing of magnetic materials to the company.

Due to demand from its clients in the hard disk industry, SmartTip has moved into the production, marketing and sales of CIPT (Current-In-Plane-Tunneling) instruments and probes. Second largest effort is in the design and production of nano-pipettes (cantilever based probes with an integrated fluidic channel) for a.o. advanced single cell manipulation.

Prior to founding SmartTip, Daniel has held the positions of Commercialization Officer at the MESA+ Institute for Nano Technology and was Program Officer at the Dutch Agency for Applied Research.

Daniel holds an MSc degree in Electro Technical Engineering of the MESA+ Institute at Twente University. He specialized in the characterization of magnet recording media (materials) in the SMI group of Prof. Cock Lodder. He holds an additional Masters degree in Technology Design, where his thesis was on the design and realization of a magnetic tape servo signal writing (emboss) head. This work was carried out at OnStream, a former Philips Electronics Devision.