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Tiny Science Done Up Big May 20, 2010

Posted by stuffilikenet in 3D Printing, Awesome, Science, Toys.

“The emerging Nanotechnology [field] is expected to change our world to a comparable extent as Microtechnology has (introducing integrated circuits, microsurgery and spacecraft).

To give everybody an opportunity to make his own "hands on" experience with the Nanoworld we provide all information to build up and use some of the standard equipment of this fascinating field of science, starting with the Nobel Prize winner of 1986: the Scanning-Tunneling-Microscope (STM).”

This is the extremely modest beginning of a project site which will allow any sufficiently determined person to build a scanning-tunneling microscope (and its handy cousin, the force microscope, which will let you manipulate atoms one at a time).  It works by measuring small electrostatic forces between an electrode and a surface to be studied and builds up a map of the surface by reading tiny currents generated thereby.  Nifty.  You might have thought this technology was beyond your reach, nay, even magical1 but you would be wrong.

image See?  Made with ordinary materials and patience.  The plans are on the site and the software to run the analog to digital converter that reads the currents (written in Visual Basic 6!  Who says you can’t do real work with BASIC?) as well as the “Scientifical Explanation”.  Be forgiving; the author’s first language is German.


1.  For all values of “sufficiently advanced”


1. 3D Printing of Molecules « Stuffilike.net - March 19, 2012

[…] when I wrote about the home-made Scanning Tunneling Microscope (SCM for short) a while back?  Well, an SCM can also act as a 3D printer down at the atomic […]

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