Victor L. Mironov
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Fundamentals of scanning probe microscopy  

SPM textbook "Fundamentals of the Scanning Probe Microscopy" was written in 2004. There are several PDF versions for free downloads:

English:  Fundamentals of scanning probe microscopy 

Russian: Основы сканирующей зондовой микроскопии 

Italian:   Fondamenti di microscopia a scansione di sonda

I would like to thank Prof. Giacomo Torzo (University Padova) for help in translation and "NT-MDT" Company for support.



Fundamentals of scanning probe microscopy






1. The scanning probe microscopy technique

1.1. Working principles of scanning probe microscopes

1.2. Scanning elements

1.3. Devices for precise control of tip and sample positions

1.4. Protection of SPM against external influences

1.5. Acquisition and processing of SPM images

2. Operating modes in scanning probe microscopy

2.1. Scanning tunneling microscopy

2.2. Atomic force microscopy

2.3. Electric force microscopy

2.4. Magnetic force microscopy

2.5. Near-field optical microscopy


Basic stages of SPM development





This textbook is written on the basis of the course of lectures given by the author in 2002 – 2003 to the students of senior courses of the radiophysical faculty and the Advanced school for general and applied physics faculty with the State University of NizhnyNovgorod. The underlying motive for making this effort, although there is an extensive literature on scanning probe microscopy available today [1-13], was a nearly total lack of educational manuals on the SPM methodology.


The textbook was written within a short period of time (two months, actually) at the request of the NT-MDT company (Moscow, Russia), producer of scanning probe microscopes for scientific research and a special SPM educational system. I admit that within the short time available for completing this work certain drawbacks can’t have been avoided and will be grateful to everyone for pointing out possible errors, inaccuracies and for other critical remarks.


The writing of the textbook was in many ways inspired by S.V.Gaponov, Director of the Institute for physics of microstructures of the Russian Academy of Science, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Science. I express deep gratitude to the IPM RAS employees, D.G.VolgunovS.A.Treskov and O.G.Udalov, for numerous fruitful discussions; to my wife, G.V.Mironova, for careful proof-reading of the manuscript; to Dr. V.N.Rjabokon (NT-MDT) for critical and constructive reviewing of the Russian version of this book; to Dr. G.Torzo (Research Director at ICIS-CNR University in Padova, Italy) for careful reviewing and correction of the English version. I am also sincerely grateful to the NT-MDT company, especially to V.A.BykovV.V.Kotov and A.V.Bykov, for their support of the publishing project.





Basic stages of SPM development


1981 - Scanning tunneling microscope. G. Binnig, H. Rohrer.

Atomic resolution images of conducting surfaces.

1982 - Scanning near-field optical microscope. D. W. Pohl.

Resolution of 50 nanometers in optical images.

1984 - Scanning capacitive microscope. J. R. Matey, J. Blanc.

500 nm (lateral resolution) images of capacitance variation.

1985 - Scanning thermal microscope. C. C. Williams, H. K. Wickramasinghe.

Resolution of 50 nm in thermal images.

1986 - Atomic-force microscope. G. Binnig, C. F. Quate, Ch. Gerber.

Atomic resolution on non-conducting (and conducting) samples.

1987 - Magnetic-force microscope. Y. Martin, H. K. Wickramasinghe.

Resolution of 100 nanometers in magnetic images.

Frictional ″ force microscope. C. M. Mate, G. M. McClelland, S. Chiang.

Atomic-scale images of lateral (frictional) forces.

Electric force microscope. Y. Martin, D. W. Abraham, H. K. Wickramasinghe.

Detecting of single charges on a sample surface.

Inelastic tunneling STM spectroscopy. D. P. E. Smith, D. Kirk, C. F. Quare.

Detection of phonon spectra of molecules in STM.

Laser driven STM. L. Arnold, W. Krieger, H. Walther.

Imaging by non-linear mixing of optical waves in STM.

1988 - Ballistic electron emission microscope. W. J. Kaiser.

Schottky barriers investigation with nanometer resolution.

Inverse photoemission microscope.

J. H. Coombs, J. K. Gimzewski, B. Reihl J. K. Sass, R. R. Schlittler

Detection of luminescence spectra on nanometer scales.

1989 – Near-field acoustic microscope.

K. Takata, T. Hasegawa, S. Hosaka, S. Hosoki. T. Komoda

Low-frequency acoustic measurements with the resolution of 10 nanometers.

Scanning noise microscope. R. Moller A. Esslinger, B. Koslowski.

Detection of tunnel current without voltage bias.

Scanning spin - precession microscope.

Y. Manassen, R. Hamers, J. Demuth, A. Castellano.

Visualization of spin in a paramagnetics with 1 nm resolution.

Scanning ion-conductance microscope.

P. Hansma, B. Drake, O. Marti, S. Gould, C. Prater.

Imaging in electrolyte with 500 nm resolution.

Scanning electrochemical microscope.

O. E. Husser, D. H. Craston, A. J. Bard.

1990 - Scanning chemical potential microscope.

C. C. Williams, H. K. Wickramasinghe.

Atomic scale images of chemical potential variation.

Photovoltage STMR. J. Hamers, K. Markert.

Photovoltage images on nanometer scale.

1991 - Kelvin probe force microscope.

N. Nonnenmacher, M. P. O'Boyle, H. K. Wickramasinghe.

Measurements of surface potential with 10 nm resolution.

1994 – Apertureless near-field optical microscope.

F. Zenhausern, M. P. O'Boyle, H. K. Wickramasinghe.

Optical microscopy with 1 nm resolution.




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