Friday, May 22, 2009

US Patent 7534999 - Quantum beam aided atomic force microscope

The atomic force microscope is a fundamental tool to determine the shapes and profiles of nanostructures however it is limited in its ability to perform the chemical analysis of nanostructures. This patent from Japan Science and Technology Agency teaches a modification of the AFM in which irradiation of a sample is used prior to AFM imaging to provide chemical state analysis. Claim 1 reads:

1. A quantum beam aided atomic force microscopy, comprising the steps of:

irradiating atoms of a sample surface with quantum beams such as photons, electrons and charged particles having a given electron transition energy characteristic of element; and

detecting the change in interaction force between each of said atoms of said sample surface irradiated with said quantum beams and a distal end of a probe.