Printer Friendly

Unique atomic views from STM's new kin.

Unique atomic views from STM's new kin

Since its invention nearly a decade ago, the scanning tunneling microsope (STM) has enabled scientists to examine materials with atomic resolution. Seeing--or, more accurately, imaging--atoms is becoming routine in an increasing number of labs. Moreover, the STM has spawned a family of related microscopes that operate according to a variety of physical principles. Together they are providing researchers with a remarkably panoramic view of atomic and molecular landscapes and events.

In the March 22 NATURE, physicist Clayton C. Williams and electrical engineer H. Kumar Wickramasinghe of IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., unveil yet another new member of the microscope family--the scanning chemical-potential microscope (SCPM). In STM images, the light, dark or colored areas represent the presence or absence of atoms. The spots on SCPM images provide unique information about how different atoms of a sample's surface vary in their chemical potential, a measure of their chemical reactivity. Among the SCPM's many possible applications, the researchers say, is the potential to distinguish between the atomic constituents of a surface rather than merely indicating the presence or absence of an atom at a specific location.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:scanning tunneling microscope
Publication:Science News
Date:Apr 7, 1990
Words:196
Previous Article:Sculpting light to maneuver molecules.
Next Article:Modern humans may need redefining.
Topics:


Related Articles
Electron tunneling for ultrafine detail.
Atomic bonds: seeing the links.
Taking apart a single molecule.
Probing an atomic rise and fall.
Scanning the surface: from gold atoms to benzene molecules, the scanning tunneling microscope probes the intricate structure of surfaces.
Sequencing DNA using remote Braille.
Getting a feel for atoms: 'magic wrist' takes scientists into a new sensory realm.
Pinpoint splitting of molecules.
Writing with warm atoms.
Atom hauler.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters