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STM image

This picture shows silicon surface atoms enlarged 20 million times, color-enhanced by computer

This picture shows silicon surface atoms enlarged 20 million times, color-enhanced by computer
The world's first images of individual surface atoms and the bonds that hold them in place were produced by a research technique developed by IBM -- scanning tunneling microscopy. This picture shows silicon surface atoms enlarged 20 million times, color-enhanced by computer. The scanning tunneling microscope (STM) was invented by IBM physicists Gerd K. Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer in 1981, work for which they were awarded a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1986. The invention permitted scientists to obtain previously unseen images of silicon, nickel, oxygen, carbon and other atoms. STMs have been used by research groups at universities and industrial laboratories throughout the world in a broad range of physical, chemical, biological and technical studies. (VV3181)