Dictionary > Scanning probe microscopy

Scanning probe microscopy

Scanning Probe Microscopy
(Science: technique) Initially called atomic force microscopy, this technique is now more typically termed scanning Force Microscopy or scanning Probe Microscopy.
This instrument is essentially an extremely high resolution profilometre. A sharp tip, typically fabricated from silicon nitride, is scanned across the surface of a sample at a constant force by three piezoelectric ceramics.
The piezoelectric ceramics are computer controlled via a feedback loop which monitors the position of the tip by means of an optical lever. (A laser is focused on the top of the tip support and the beam reflected into a position sensitive detector). The changes in height of the tip are used to form an image as the tip is scanned across the sample.
Acronym: SPM

You will also like...

Still Water Community Plants
Still Water Community Plants

This tutorial looks at the adaptations of freshwater plants for them to thrive in still water habitats. Familiarize your..

human brain structure
The Conscious & Unconscious Nervous System

This tutorial elaborates on how the nervous system works, particularly at the tissue level of the brain. There are three..

Birth of a Human Baby
Birth of a Human Baby

Following nine months inside the mother's womb is the birth of the baby. Know the different stages of the birthing proce..

Independent Assortment and Crossing Over
Independent Assortment and Crossing Over

This tutorial describes the independent assortment of chromosomes and crossing over as important events in meiosis. Read..

Structural depiction of catalase, an enzyme
Protein Activity and Cellular Metabolism

Proteins have a crucial role in various biological activities. Get to know how proteins are able to perform as enzymes, ..

Peppered moth ("Biston betularia") melanic and light form
Examples of Natural Selection

Darwin's Finches are an example of natural selection in action. They are an excellent example of the way species' gene p..