The Atomic Force Microscope - 30 years of development in nanoscience

30 years ago the Scanning Tunnelling Microscope (STM) received the Nobel Prize in Physics, the same year that the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) first appeared in the literature. Both are examples of scanning probe microscopes and the AFM has proved to have much broader impact. With its ability to explore a tremendous variety of material surfaces and tip-surface interactions (anything that gives rise to a force), to work in many different types of environments (vacuum, gas, liquid), as well as it’s low cost and its ease of use, the AFM has played a leading role in the development of nanoscience and nanotechnology. The inventors of the AFM received the 2016 Kavli Prize for Nanoscience this year in Oslo. The AFM also offers the opportunity to explore and exploit some very interesting properties of nonlinear dynamical systems, currently at the heart of the development of analytical AFM. The talk will review the history and cover some of the recent developments of the AFM.