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Scanning Tunneling Microscope

This is a small-scale version of the Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM)...

This is a small-scale version of the Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM)...
This is a small-scale version of the Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM), invented by IBM researchers to produce images of individual atoms and the forces bonding them for the first time. The smaller device allowed wider use in scientific investigations. In scanning tunneling microscopy, a voltage is applied between a surface and a probe so sharp that its tip is a single atom. As the probe is moved to within a few atomic diameters of a surface, a "tunneling" current flows between the surface and the probe. The tip is then moved back and forth over the surface at a constant distance, accomplished by keeping the current constant. The continuous adjustment of the probe's vertical position produces a "contour map" of the surface, which is enhanced by computer processing. (VV3182)