50 years of seeing and experimenting with single surface atoms


  • Tien T. Tsong Institute of Physics, Academia Sinica, Taipei


Two important aspects of atomic resolution microscopy are imaging and chemical analysis of sample atoms. Field ion microscopy (FIM) leads the way in both aspects. FIM achieved atomic resolution in 1955. For the chemical mapping of surfaces, it was first attempted from the image contrast of ordered alloys PtCo and Pt3Co. A breakthrough came in 1967 when the Time-of-Flight Atom-Probe FIM was developed. Pulsed-Laser ToF Atom-Probe was then developed to improve the mass resolution and also for analysis of materials of poor electrical conductivity. I will discuss some of the historical efforts in single atom analysis and experiments with single surface atoms by FIM, STM, SPM and TEM, and also how such knowledge can be used to understand the physical properties of nanostructures. As we are now more than ever interested in nanoscience and nanotechnologies, atomic resolution microscopy will become more and more important. I will thus point out some of the unsolved problems in atomic resolution microscopy and nanoanalysis, and discuss possible approaches to solving them.



Article ID



Plenary Sessions



How to Cite

TT Tsong, 50 years of seeing and experimenting with single surface atoms, Proceedings of the Samahang Pisika ng Pilipinas 24, SPP-2006-INV-PS-01 (2006). URL: https://proceedings.spp-online.org/article/view/SPP-2006-INV-PS-01.