the Imaging Technology Group
the NASA and
the National Science Foundation
This animated tutorial explores the basics of scanning probe microscopy (SPM), a branch of microscopy that forms images using a tiny physical probe to scan specimens. The advantage of SPM is that it can produce high resolution images of nanoscale samples and does not require a partial vacuum. This tutorial provides beginners with a very clear picture of how the probe tip interacts with a sample surface to produce 3-dimensional data about topography. The tutorial covers scanning tunneling, contact mode, and tapping mode. For additional background information on probe microscopy, we recommend: Introduction to AFM.
This resource is part of the Virtual Microscope project, which provides cost-free simulated scientific instrumentation for students and researchers worldwide as part of NASA's Virtual Laboratory initiative. See Related Materials for links to additional animated tutorials on Atomic Force Microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy.
6-8: 1C/M6. Computers have become invaluable in science, mathematics, and technology because they speed up and extend people's ability to collect, store, compile, and analyze data; prepare research reports; and share data and ideas with investigators all over the world.
3. The Nature of Technology
3A. Technology and Science
6-8: 3A/M2. Technology is essential to science for such purposes as access to outer space and other remote locations, sample collection and treatment, measurement, data collection and storage, computation, and communication of information.
4. The Physical Setting
4D. The Structure of Matter
6-8: 4D/M9. Materials vary in how they respond to electric currents, magnetic forces, and visible light or other electromagnetic waves.
8. The Designed World
8B. Materials and Manufacturing
9-12: 8B/H4. Increased knowledge of the properties of particular molecular structures helps in the design and synthesis of new materials for special purposes.
9-12: 8B/H6. Groups of atoms and molecules can form structures that can be measured in billionths of a meter. The properties of structures at this scale (known as the nanoscale) and materials composed of such structures, can be very different than the properties at the macroscopic scale because of the increase in the ratio of surface area to volume and changes in the relative strengths of different forces at different scales. Increased knowledge of the properties of materials at the nanoscale provides a basis for the development of new materials and new uses of existing materials.
11. Common Themes
6-8: 11B/M4. Simulations are often useful in modeling events and processes.
Disclaimer: ComPADRE offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure. Please refer to the style manuals in the Citation Source Information area for clarifications.
A highly detailed animated tutorial on light microscopy, including simple and compound microscope anatomy, polarized microscopy, darkfield, and fluorescent microscopy. Appropriate for AP physics or for a course in electricity and magnetism.