Related topics: nanometers

How acidic are atoms?

The degree of acidity or alkalinity of a substance is crucial for its chemical behavior. The decisive factor is the so-called proton affinity, which indicates how easily an entity accepts or releases a single proton. While ...

Imaging a molecular switch

Scanning probe microscopes like the scanning tunneling microscope and the atomic force microscope give researchers valuable information about individual molecules. One of the most interesting areas of research is molecular ...

New tool helps nanorods stand out

Rice University scientists have developed an easy and affordable tool to count and characterize nanoparticles.

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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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