Browse Definitions :
Definition

atomic force microscopy (AFM)

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a technique for analyzing the surface of a rigid material all the way down to the level of the atom . AFM uses a mechanical probe to magnify surface features up to 100,000,000 times, and it produces 3-D images of the surface.

The technique is derived from a related technology, called scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). The difference is that AFM does not require the sample to conduct electricity, whereas STM does. AFM also works in regular room temperatures, while STM requires special temperature and other conditions.

AFM is being used to understand materials problems in many areas, including data storage, telecommunications, biomedicine, chemistry, and aerospace. In data storage, it is helping researchers to "force" a disk to have a higher capacity. Today's magnetic storage devices typically have a capacity limit of between 20 and 50 gigabits (billions of bits) per square inch of storage medium. Researchers are looking into AFM to help raise read and write densities to between 40 gigabits and 300 gigabits per square inch. No one has yet commercialized AFM technology for this purpose, but IBM and others are actively pursuing it.

This was last updated in January 2011

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

SearchCompliance

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

  • PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)

    The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a widely accepted set of policies and procedures intended to ...

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

SearchSecurity

  • tokenization

    Tokenization is the process of replacing sensitive data with unique identification symbols that retain all the essential ...

  • incident response

    Incident response is an organized approach to addressing and managing the aftermath of a security breach or cyberattack, also ...

  • Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA)

    The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) is United States legislation that defines a framework of guidelines and ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

    A call tree is a layered hierarchical communication model that is used to notify specific individuals of an event and coordinate ...

  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

    Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide ...

  • cloud disaster recovery (cloud DR)

    Cloud disaster recovery (cloud DR) is a combination of strategies and services intended to back up data, applications and other ...

SearchStorage

Close