Binnig, Gerd

Binnig, Gerd

(gĕrt bĭn`ĭkh), 1947–, German physicist, Ph.D. Univ. of Frankfurt, 1978. At the IBM Research Laboratory in Zürich, Binnig and fellow researcher Heinrich RohrerRohrer, Heinrich,
1933–2013, Swiss physicist, Ph.D. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, 1960. He joined IBM in 1963 and spent almost his entire career with the company, retiring in 1997.
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 built the first 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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, an instrument so sensitive that it can distinguish individual atoms. For their innovation they shared the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physics with Ernst RuskaRuska, Ernst,
1906–88, German electrical engineer. By applying the discovery that electron waves are 100,000 times shorter than those of light, Ruska built a microscope that used a beam of electrons to produce a greatly magnified image.
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, who invented (1933) the first electron microscope. In 1986 Binnig developed the atomic force microscopeatomic force microscope
(AFM), device that uses a spring-mounted probe to image individual atoms on the surface of a material, first developed by Gerd Binnig in 1986. Unlike the scanning tunneling microscope, which is also a scanning probe microscope, the AFM can be used on
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, which can image individual atoms in materials that do not conduct electricity.
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