PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Atomic force micrograph at near-atomic scale of the surface of a sample of glass. Glass is a fused mixture of silica and other ingredients such as barium, potassium and lead. Although glass appears smooth on a macroscopic scale, high-power microscopes reveal its uneven surface. The atomic force microscope (AFM) produces images by drawing a very fine probe over the surface of the sample. Tiny vertical movements, caused by the sample's topography, are converted into electronic signals. These are then processed to form the image. Although similar in concept to the scanning tunnelling microscope (STM), the AFM does not require the sample to be electrically conductive.
Model release not required. Property release not required.