From Handbook of Nanophase and Nanostructured Materials, Volume 2: Characterization
Chunli Bai Chen Wang

4.1 Overview

A lot of surface analysis techniques have been developed in the past half century, playing important roles in the structural studies on metal and semiconductor surfaces. However, each technique is limited in some respect. Probably the most notable advances in the past nearly two decades are related to the invention and growing of the family of scanning probe microscopy (SPM), and associated surging interests. There have been numerous publications covering the exciting developments in this field. This chapter is dedicated to a few representative directions of the research activities, hope to draw the attention of the readers to the promising potentials that the technology has brought forth. It is not intended to review such a vast scope in this chapter, and interested readers are encouraged to search the relevant literature.

Scanning tunneling (STM) has shown that it is possible to control and scan a tip over a conducting surface with angstrom precision. This same generic principle of STM has been applied to many other novel scanning probe microscopes. The developments in the areas of atomic force microscopy (AFM), lateral force microscopy (LFM), magnetic force microscopy (MFM). ballistic electron emission microscopy (BEEM), scanning ion conductance microscopy (SICM), photon scanning tunneling microscopy (PSTM), and near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM) have been highlighted by the results from each area which illustrate the potential of these techniques to provide new information about the physical properties of surfaces on an atomic or nanometer scale.

STM and related techniques have...

Products & Services
Scanning Probe Microscopes
Scanning probe microscopes form images of surfaces by using a physical probe that scans the specimen. Examples include AFMs (atomic force microscopes), MFMs (magetic force microscopes), and STMs (scanning tunneling microscopes).
Metallurgical Microscopes
Metallurgical microscopes are used for metallurgical inspection including metals, ceramics, and other materials.
Styli and Probes
Styli and probes are slender, rod-shaped stems and contact tips or points used to probe surfaces in conjunction with profilometers, SPMs, CMMs, gages and dimensional scanners.
Biological Microscopes
Biological microscopes are used to study organisms and their vital processes.
Measuring Microscopes
Measuring microscopes are used by toolmakers for measuring the properties of tools.  These microscopes are often used for dimensional measurement with lower magnifying powers to allow for brighter, sharper images combined with a wide field of view.

Topics of Interest

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