Over the last decade rapid growth has occurred in the variety of scanned probe techniques available.1 The vast array of familiar reciprocal space probes is now joined by a multitude of real space probes. The relatively new ability to observe real space properties of systems at microscopic-length scales has found wide applicability across the physical sciences, from physics and chemistry to biology, with no end in sight. Much of this advancement has been made possible by the ready availability of commercial instruments operating in air, liquid, and vacuum. One can now even purchase high performance combined STM/AFM devices, tailored to a particular application. Despite this rapid advancement, however, there still exists a feeling that the fields of scanned probe microscopy are in their infancy, perhaps with the best yet to come. New techniques continue to be developed, and a new philosophy of experimentation has begun to take shape. Rather than just use scanned probe instruments as passive tools of surface characterization, researchers are increasingly using them to intentionally modify the systems under study. This change brings with it a great many new possibilities.
KeywordsScanning Tunneling Microscopy Real Space Scan Probe Microscopy Scan Force Microscopy Diffusion Limited Aggregation
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