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Atomic Force Microscopy on Its Way to Adolescence

American Institute of Physics
Publication Date
  • 530 Physik


When the atomic force microscope (AFM) was introduced in 1986, its potential to resolve surfaces with true atomic resolution was already proposed. However, substantial problems had to be overcome before atomic resolution became possible by AFM. Today, true atomic resolution by AFM is standard practice. This article discusses the influence of the cantilever stiffness and — amplitude on noise and short‐range force sensitivity and introduces a sensor operating at near optimal conditions (qPlus sensor). The data achieved with this optimized sensing technology show substructures within single atom images, attributed to atomic orbitals.

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