A Giant of Nanotechnology Falls – Heinrich Rohrer – Sustainable Nano

The performance of the optical microscope, which was developed in the 17th century, is restricted by the wavelength of light. The electron microscope, which was developed by Ernst Ruska in 1933, suffers from problems resulting from a comparably high susceptibility to aberrations. The scanning tunnelling microscope (STM) that Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer presented in 1981 has proved much more trouble-free.

More recently, even more powerful microscopes have been developed that use the same basic scanning technology first developed for the STM. Gerd Binnig is a physicist at IBM’s Zurich Research Laboratory.

A unique feature of this system is the very low spatial drift and the resulting high positional stability. The topographic data on NbN display a grainy structure. No indications for a superconductive energy gap are found from the tunnel spectroscopy. In the ordered graphite structure, domains are found separated by dislocations.

He was educated at J. W. Goethe University in Frankfurt, where he received his bachelor’s and Ph.D. degrees in 1973 and 1978, respectively. He joined a physics group at the IBM Physics Research Laboratory in Zürich. Between 1985-1986, Binnig was assigned to IBM Almaden Center, in San Jose, Calfornia.

They play a central role for science and technology on the nanometer scale and will allow us to build systems of the same complexity as used by nature, which has built life on nanofunctionality. The development of the family of scanning probe microscopes started with the original invention of the STM in 1981. Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer developed the first working STM while working at IBM Zurich Research Laboratories in Switzerland. This instrument would later win Binnig and Rohrer the Nobel prize in physics in 1986. The scanning tunneling microscope is used to obtain atomic-scale images of metal surfaces.

Disorder arises from locally random sequences of the two facets. We present scanning tunneling microscopy images for bare and shadowed recA-DNA complexes prepared on graphite substrates.

Microstructure surface texture is studied with the Scanning Tunneling Microscope operated at atmospheric air pressure. A standardization procedure for surface microstructure is proposed. We introduce two parameters in order to characterize surface areas in the micrometer and submicrometre range, which we term “granular roughness” and “microroughness”. Measurements of a class “0” standard block gauge give a granular roughness Ra value of 0.02 μm. A link between scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and conventional transmission electron microscopy (TEM) has been established by applying STM on freeze-dried recA-DNA complexes coated with a conducting film.

  • A selection of applications illustrates the unique and attractive features and the wide interdisciplinary nature of local probe methods.
  • During the potential-controlled lead adsorption and phase deposition, the tunneling mode was maintained.
  • Binnig and Rohrer were recognized for developing the powerful microscopy technique that forms an image of individual atoms on a metal or semiconductor surface by scanning the tip of a needle over the surface at a height of only a few atomic diameters.
  • Jointly with Swiss researcher Heinrich Rohrer, Gerd Binnig developed the scanning tunnelling microscope, without which contemporary nanotechnology would be inconceivable.
  • They then cut out the individual lines of data, stacked those pieces of paper together, and used them to create a physical model that they then photographed.

From 1987-1995 he directed an IBM physics research group at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, earning a Honorary Professorship in 1987. He then returned to Zurich, where he continues to work for the IBM corporation as a research scientist.

He began playing violin at age 15 and although he did not develop a great talent, he enjoyed playing in the school orchestra nonetheless. Influenced by his older brother’s immersion in such bands as the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, Binnig played in a rock band with friends and even wrote some of his own music. However, as time passed, he went back to his early interest in physics and became more serious about studying the subject. He eventually earned a diploma and a doctorate in physics from Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt.

Gerd Binnig is a German physicist known for the invention of the scanning tunneling microscope. This biography of Gerd Binnig provides detailed information about his childhood, life, research career, achievements, works & timeline. Although techniques are available for the determination of the three-dimensional structure of biological specimens, for example scanning electron microscopy, they all have some serious drawback, such as low resolution, the requirement for crystals or for the sample to be analysed in a high vacuum. In an attempt to develop a technique for high-resolution three-dimensional structure analysis of non-crystalline biological material, we have tested the applicability of scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM), a method that has been used successfully in the analysis of metal and semiconductor surface structures.

Rohrer had been at the IBM lab since 1963 and also had a background in superconductivity. Together Binnig and Rohrer became interested in exploring the characteristics of the surface of materials.

Heinrich Rohrer

Electrons can “tunnel” through touching and overlapping cloudsbetween two surfaces. Ivar Giaever of General Electric verified this experimentally in 1960. Binnig had investigated tunneling in superconductors during his graduate studies.

A scanning tunneling microscope operating at cryogenic temperatures is described. Results from topographic and spectroscopic measurements are presented for surfaces of NbN and graphite at a temperature of 6.5 K.

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