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Scanning Probe Microscopy

  • The scanning tunneling microscope (STM) is the most powerful type of microscope ever built. It is used to obtain images of conductive surfaces at an atomic scale ~2 (2 x 10-10 m).

Scanning probe microscopy is the umbrella term for all kinds of microscopy techniques, where the sample is not imaged at once, but scanned line by line. The main advantage of the scanning technique is, that the resoution of the microscopes is not limited by diffraction. On the other side, scanning technics are a lot slower in acquiring images, due to the scanning process.