Scanning Probe Microscopy

Since scanning probe microscopes are the main components by which positional assembly is presently achieved, we present some basic principles behind these microscopes here.

The idea behind the development of the family of scanning probe microscopes started with the original invention of the Topografiner between 1965 and 1971 by Russell D. Young [13-16] of the United States National Bureau of Standards, now known as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The same principle was later improved and used in the scanning tunneling microscope [17] by G. Binnig and H. Rohrer of the IBM Research Laboratory in Zurich, Switzerland. Also in 1986 the invention of the atomic force microscope (AFM) was announced by G. Binnig, et al [18]. In what follows we present the principles behind Topografiner, STM and AFM.

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