Quantifying and enforcing the two-dimensional symmetry of scanning probe microscopy images of periodic objects

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The defining features of a scanning probe microscope are a very fine probe that is scanned in two dimensions (2D), in very fine steps, very close to the surface of a sample, and a probe-sample interactions signal that is recorded at each scanning increment. This signal may then be digitized and displayed as a function of the magnified scanning steps. A 2D-image of the probe-sample interactions may, thus, be obtained. Just like any other image, these images can be subjected to image processing routines in order to quantify the information that is contained. A proper calibration of the whole microscope is essential for the quantification of this kind of information. The calibration of an SPM at any one time may be assessed by the usage of calibration standards. For SPM images of periodic calibration standards and objects, crystallographic image processing (CIP) [1] may be utilized advantageously to quantify the 2D symmetry in the images (because the underlying algorithms are completely general, i.e. independent on the type of an image). Such symmetry quantifications will be demonstrated on scanning tunneling microscopy images of fluorinated cobalt phthalocyanine and on atomic force microscopy images of a periodic calibration standard. [1] Hovmöller, S.: Ultramicroscopy 41 (1992) 121-135

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 1, Nanotechnology 2009: Fabrication, Particles, Characterization, MEMS, Electronics and Photonics
Published: May 3, 2009
Pages: 314 - 317
Industry sector: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Topic: Materials Characterization & Imaging
ISBN: 978-1-4398-1782-7