|Atomic Force Microscopes (AFM)
Atomic force microscopes (AFM) are extremely high-resolution scanning probe microscopes, with demonstrated resolution of fractions of a nanometer, more than 1000 times better than the optical diffraction limit.
Applications of AFM and other types of scanning probe microscopy continue to grow rapidly in number and include biological materials (e.g., studying DNA structure), polymeric materials (e.g., studying morphology, mechanical response, and thermal transitions), and semiconductors (e.g., detecting defects). In particular, AFM can be utilized to evaluate the surface quality of products such as contact lenses, optical components (mirrors, beamsplitters, etc.), and semiconductor wafers after various cleaning, etching, or other manufacturing processes.