Discover the « nanoworld »

Scanning Probe Microscopy basics

Scanning probe microscopy aims at producing a 3D image of a nanoscale surface thanks to a scanning probe. Interactions between the probe and the surface are strongly dependent on the distance, which is very small and feedback-controlled.

Two modes are mainly used :

  • The STM mode (Scanning Tunneling microscopy) whose distance regulation signal is the tunnel current established between the probe and the surface, both metallic or semiconductive;
  • The AFM mode (Atomic Force Microscopy) is based on nanoscale forces that take place between the probe and the surface. These can be repulsive contact forces, or attractive Van der Waals forces.

Specimens of the nanoworld

Spécimens du nanomonde