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  • scanning probe microscope See atomic force microscope; magnetic force microscope; near-field scanning optical microscope; scanning tunneling microscope.
  • atomic force microscope (AFM) A type of microscope that produces a quantitative, three-dimensional image of the surface of a sample. The surface is scanned by an extremely sharp tip mounted to a flexible cantilever. The atoms on the tip interact with the atoms on the surface of...
  • magnetic force microscope A variation of the atomic force microscope that operates by scanning a tiny ferromagnetic probe (or a magnetized tip) over a magnetic sample, and detecting the extremely small forces exerted on the probe by the sample's stray magnetic fields. The...
  • near-field scanning optical microscope (NSOM) A scanning probe microscope that analyzes the surface of a specimen by recording the intensity of light as it is focused through a pipette and raster scanned across the specimen at a distance less than a wavelength. The resolution and high contrast...
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