Related topics: nanometers

Finding additional ways that proteins rotate

Biological materials like bones, teeth, and seashells are impressively tough. This strength comes from their composition: a combination of hard rock-like minerals and resilient carbon-based molecules like proteins. Materials ...

When light loses symmetry, it can hold particles

Optical tweezers use light to immobilize microscopic particles as small as a single atom in 3D space. The basic principle behind optical tweezers is the momentum transfer between light and the object being held. Analogous ...

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Atomic force microscope

The atomic force microscope (AFM) or scanning force microscope (SFM) is a very high-resolution type of scanning probe microscopy, with demonstrated resolution of fractions of a nanometer, more than 1000 times better than the optical diffraction limit. The precursor to the AFM, the scanning tunneling microscope, was developed by Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer in the early 1980s, a development that earned them the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1986. Binnig, Quate and Gerber invented the first AFM in 1986. The AFM is one of the foremost tools for imaging, measuring and manipulating matter at the nanoscale. The information is gathered by "feeling" the surface with a mechanical probe. Piezoelectric elements that facilitate tiny but accurate and precise movements on (electronic) command enable the very precise scanning.

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