Review abstract

Nature Nanotechnology 4, 803 - 810 (2009)
Published online: 6 December 2009 | doi:10.1038/nnano.2009.347

Subject Categories: Nanometrology and instrumentation | Surface patterning and imaging

Atomic force microscopy as a tool for atom manipulation

Oscar Custance1, Ruben Perez2 & Seizo Morita3

During the past 20 years, the manipulation of atoms and molecules at surfaces has allowed the construction and characterization of model systems that could, potentially, act as building blocks for future nanoscale devices. The majority of these experiments were performed with scanning tunnelling microscopy at cryogenic temperatures. Recently, it has been shown that another scanning probe technique, the atomic force microscope, is capable of positioning single atoms even at room temperature. Here, we review progress in the manipulation of atoms and molecules with the atomic force microscope, and discuss the new opportunities presented by this technique.

  1. National Institute for Materials Science, 1-2-1 Sengen, 305-0047 Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
  2. Departamento de Física Teórica de la Materia Condensada, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain
  3. Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, 2-1 Yamada-Oka, 565-0871 Suita, Osaka, Japan.

Correspondence to: Oscar Custance1 e-mail:


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