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Use the Force..

We have new Collections coming out of our ears here at ScienceOpen! Last week, we saw two published on the bacterium Shewanella, and another on the Communication Through Coherence theory. Both should represent great platforms and resources for further research in those fields.

The latest is on the diverse field of Atomic Force Microscopy. We asked the Editor, Prof. Yang Gan, to give us a few details about why he created this Collection.

Background

This collection is to celebrate the 30th anniversary of atomic force microscopy (AFM). March 3, 1986 saw publication of the land-marking paper “Atomic force microscope” by G. Binnig, C. G. Quate and C. Gerber (Phys Rev Lett, 56 (1986) 930-933, citations >8,800) with the motivation to invent “a new type of microscope capable of investigating surfaces of insulators on an atomic scale” with high force and dimension resolution. This can be used to measure local properties, such as height, friction, and magnetism, so has massive implications for science.

Since then, AFM has given birth to a large family of scanning probe microscopy (SPM) or SXM where X stands for near-field optical, Kelvin, magnetic, acoustic, thermal, etc. More than 100,000 journal papers, ~6,000 papers/yr since 2008, have been published if one searches the Scopus database with “atomic force microscopy” or “force microscope”. On ScienceOpen, there are over 6,000 article records if one searches using the keywords “atomic force microscopy” too. Nowadays, many disciplines — physics, chemistry, biology, materials, minerals, medicine, geology, nanotechnology, etc — all benefit greatly from using AFM as an important and even key tool for characterization, fabrication and processing.

AFM setup. (Source)
AFM setup. (Source)

Coverage of the collection

In this collection, partly because of infeasibility of covering all topics of SPM, partly because of my personal research interests, topics covered here are only those important original research papers and reviews (the most are well-known and a few overlooked) related to topographical characterization in air/liquid and vacuum, imaging modes, calibration of cantilevers and tips, artifacts and imaging processing, surface and interfacial force measurements, chemical force microscopy, nanotribology, force spectroscopy in biology and soft matters, as well as new developments like ultra-fast imaging and metrology applications. About 200 papers will be assembled in this collection.

About the author

Professor Yang Gan is the Departmental Chair of Catalysis Science and Engineering at the Harbin Institute of Technology in. China. He has previously published with ScienceOpen what can only be described as an awesome paper marrying materials science and medicine together! His work is widely cited in the fields of microscopy, physics, medicine, and chemistry. In 2015, he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

As you can see, there are already many editorial comments in the Collection, and we hope that research communities can use this to enhance research in this field efficiently and openly. We look forward to watching this Collection develop under the skill and expertise of Prof. Yang Gan, and hope that others follow his initiative and help us make science more open!