A high-resolution microscope using neither light nor an electron beam, but with an ultra-fine tip able to reveal atomic and molecular details of surfaces.
- In rapid succession the field ion microscope and the scanning tunnelling microscope soon joined these microscopes.
- In a scanning tunnelling microscope, a sharp metallic tip is brought within a nanometre or two of the surface of the sample.
- Researchers have long been able to pick up and drop individual atoms using the tips of scanning tunnelling microscopes.
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