Scanning Probe Microscopy

Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) is a breakthrough technology that enables characterisation of surface structures from atomic to micron scale.  It employs a tiny probing tip which can be brought very close to the sample and scan horizontally across a small area of the surface.  An image of the sample surface can be obtained by monitoring the interaction between the tip and the sample as well as the variation in the vertical motion of the tip.
The application of SPM has evolved rapidly over recent years in wide variety of fields.  The local probe method associated with this technique has been widely accepted as a central, stimulating approach to science and technology on the nanometer scale.  The most significant aspects are their conceptual simplicity, the variety of probing interactions and thus the local properties accessible. 


  Scanning tunneling microscope and spectroscopy
  Contact, non-contact and tapping mode atomic force microscope
  Lateral force microscope
  Magnetic force microscope
  Electric force microscope

Information Provided by SPM:

  High resolution 3-D surface structure and topography
High resolution surface electronic structure
  Surface friction force distribution
  Surface viscoelasticity distribution
  Magnetic force gradient distribution
  Electric force gradient distribution 

Typical Applications:

   Metals, semiconductors and insulators in air or liquid
  Adsorbates on various surfaces
  High-Tc superconductors
   Organic or biological materials