atomic force microscope


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Related to atomic force microscope: scanning electron microscope

atomic force microscope

(AFM), device that uses a spring-mounted probe to image individual atoms on the surface of a material, first developed by Gerd BinnigBinnig, Gerd
, 1947–, German physicist, Ph.D. Univ. of Frankfurt, 1978. At the IBM Research Laboratory in Zürich, Binnig and fellow researcher Heinrich Rohrer built the first scanning tunneling microscope, an instrument so sensitive that it can distinguish individual
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 in 1986. Unlike the scanning tunneling microscopescanning tunneling microscope
(STM), device for studying and imaging individual atoms on the surfaces of materials. The instrument was invented in the early 1980s by Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer, who were awarded the 1986 Nobel prize in physics for their work.
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, which is also a scanning probe microscope, the AFM can be used on materials that do not conduct electricity. In the original AFM, the probe traverses the surface, moving upward due to bumps and downward due to depressions; a laserlaser
[acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation], device for the creation, amplification, and transmission of a narrow, intense beam of coherent light. The laser is sometimes referred to as an optical maser.
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 beam reflected from the tip of the probe measures the up and down movements, and the pattern of reflected light creates an image of the surface. Another type of AFM measures the sideways deflection of the tip caused by friction as the probe moves across the surface; differences in friction can be used distinguish different atoms and molecules on the material. A third variation employs a magnetic probe; this probe does not touch the material but moves up and down in reaction to the magnetic forces between the tip and the surface. In a microchip-size AFM, the electronic circuitry and multiple probes are integrated on a sliver of silicon; although less sensitive than a full-size AFM, the device has applications in microelectronicsmicroelectronics,
branch of electronic technology devoted to the design and development of extremely small electronic devices that consume very little electric power. Although the term is sometimes used to describe discrete electronic components assembled in an extremely small
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 where the multiple probes make it possible to record images very quickly.

atomic force microscope

[ə¦täm·ik ¦fȯrs ′mī¦krə‚skōp]
(engineering)
A device for mapping surface atomic structure by measuring the force acting on the tip of a sharply pointed wire or other object that is moved over the surface.

AFM

(Atomic Force Microscope) A device used to image materials at the atomic level. AFMs are used to solve processing and materials problems in electronics, telecom, biology and other high-tech industries. Invented by IBM in 1986, it uses a ceramic or semiconductor tip one atom wide positioned at the end of a cantilevered bar. As the tip is moved over the material, it either continously touches or periodically taps the surface and bends as it is repelled or attracted to the structure. A laser picks up the deflections.

In contrast to a scanning tunneling microscope (STM), which sends current to the surface being measured, AFMs can be used to image non-conductive materials. See probe storage, STM, microscopy and nanotechnology.
References in periodicals archive ?
Although the scanning electron microscope was able to show virus particles in the process of extruding (Figure 2B, Figure 3A and B) from the cells, the image derived with the atomic force microscope was superior in resolution.
The UCLA team detected the vibrations while prodding the cells with an atomic force microscope. The instrument, used to analyze nanoscale structures, consists of a microscopic cantilever with a down-pointing needle sharpened to just a few atoms wide.
The market will experience new opportunities for revenue generation due to atomic force microscope (AFM)-based techniques.
The Dimension Icon atomic force microscope (AFM) incorporates temperature-compensating position sensors that render noise levels in the sub-angstroms range for the Z-axis and angstroms in X-Y.
Millipede, first developed by IBM in the late 1990s, uses an array of atomic force microscope heads to read and write bits mechanically onto a polymer substrate, at impressive memory density levels.
Using an atomic force microscope, for example, researchers can mechanically place carbon nanotubes, one by one, on a chip.
The small-sample, high-resolution Cypher atomic force microscope provides superior capability, control and modularity with optimal ease of use.
One of today's celebrity scientific instruments, the atomic force microscope (AFM), is valued despite some quirks.