Scanning Microscopy


The invention of the Scanning Tunneling Microscope has stimulated the development of new techniques for microcharacterization of materials, which are based on the use of a very fine tip. Two of these techniques have emerged about one year ago, the Thermal Profiler and the Atomic Force Microscope. Both techniques have recently demonstrated the capability to profile and image conductors and insulators. The resolution attained varies from approximately 50 nm by the Thermal Profiler to a few nanometers with the Atomic Force Microscope, therefore competing with the resolution obtained with electron beam microscopy. We shall describe the principle of these techniques, and present recent results obtained for surface profiling, as well as for temperature mapping, force measurement and mapping of magnetic field on a nanometer scale.

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