Scanning probe microscopy


Scanning probe microscopy images a sample by scanning a physical probe just above the surface. A variety of different probes and detection modalities can be used to generate either a topological map of the surface or to detect and image some other electromagnetic, physical or molecular characteristic.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • Editorial |

    Last April, six teams raced molecules on a metallic surface using a scanning tunnelling microscope in the first NanoCar Race. The event brought scientific research in nanotechnology to the attention of the wider public.

  • Comments and Opinion |

    The first race involving molecular ‘cars’ stimulated technical advances in scanning tunnelling microscopy and provided insights in surface science and synthetic chemistry — it also attracted wide interest from the public.

    • Gwénaël Rapenne
    •  & Christian Joachim
  • News and Views |

    Using chiral modifiers on the surfaces of heterogeneous catalysts is a potentially fruitful route to practical stereoselective chemistry. Now, a study of the dynamics of prochiral adsorbates on modified surfaces has shown that they can rapidly interconvert between adsorption states of different prochirality.

    • Wilfred T. Tysoe
    Nature Chemistry 9, 503–504
  • News and Views |

    Planar molecules may break mirror symmetry when aligned on a surface, but both right- and left-handed forms will be created. Starting with a single-handed precursor, chiral adsorbates of planar hydrocarbons with a single handedness are formed in on-surface reactions.

    • Karl-Heinz Ernst
    Nature Chemistry 9, 195–196