PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Atomic force micrograph of the surface of a thin co-polymer film. The atomic force microscope (AFM) is capable of atomic-scale resolution, and works by drawing a very fine probe across the surface of the sample. The vertical motion of the probe, caused by the topography of the sample, is converted into electronic signals. These are then processed to give the type of surface map seen here. This has the advantage over scanning tunnelling microscopes in that the AFM sample does not have to be an electrical conductor. Magnification unknown.
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