Scanning Probe Microscopy

 

Initially called Atomic Force Microscopy, this technique is now more typically termed Scanning Force Microscopy or Scanning Probe Microscopy.

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Any of a number of devices capable of producing images of individual atoms and molecules on surfaces of materials.

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Scanning probe microscopy (SPM) is a branch of microscopy that forms images of surfaces using a physical probe that scans the specimen. An image of the surface is obtained by mechanically moving the probe in a raster scan of the specimen, line by line, and recording the probe-surface interaction as a function of position. SPM was founded with the invention of the scanning tunneling microscope in 1981.

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Family of techniques for imaging a surface, using the interaction of a physical probe with the surface

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In the early 1980's two IBM scientists, Binnig & Rohrer, developed a new technique for studying surface structure - Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy ( STM ). This invention was quickly followed by the development of a whole family of related techniques which, together with STM, may be classified in the general category of Scanning Probe Microscopy ( SPM ) techniques. Of these later techniques, the most important is Atomic Force Microscopy ( AFM ).

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Experimental techniques used to image both organic and inorganic surfaces with (near) atomic resolution. Includes atomic force microscopes and scanning tunneling microscopes.

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Scanning probe microscope

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Generic name for different scanning microscopes, where a local probe collects surface or topography related information through a specific interaction between this probe and the surface under investigation. This interaction can be the tunnel current for STM or the force or damping of an oscillation in the case of an AFM for example.

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Scanning probe microscope

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A method of surface imagign where a sensor (probe) is scanned over the surface.

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Scanning probe microscopes (spms) pass a needle-like probe over the surface of a molecule and record an image of that surface. Different spms can not only map the topography but also determine the type of atoms and their thermal and magnetic properties. Scanning tunnelling microscopes and atomic force microscopes are types of spms. For more information see Scanning probe microscopy (SPM) (Missouri Botanical Garden, USA).

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