Scanning Probe Microscopy
Scanning probe microscopy (SPM) is a kind of microscopy that generates images of surface features by mechanically scanning a physical probe over the specimen under study, in which the concomitant response of a detector is measured. This generic term encompasses STM, SFM, SNOM, SCM, SKPM, SICM, etc., where “X” of SXM denotes interactions between the probe and the specimen. For instance, “T” of STM expresses “tunneling current” and “F” of SFM “force.” Depending on the detail of interaction force, SFM has more specific commonly used names such as AFM (atomic force), MFM (magnetic force), and FFM (friction force). The resolution of each SPM varies somewhat with a kind of interaction, but some reach an atomic resolution. The nature of an SPM probe depends on the type of SPM being used. However, certain characteristics are common to all SPMs: the probe must have a very sharp apex to realize high-resolution feature.
KeywordsAtomic resolution Topography Interaction Thermal conductivity Infrared absorption and reflection