Engineers Converting Atomic Force Microscopes into Molecular Milling Machines

Engineering researchers are at the vanguard of efforts to remake the “atomic force microscope” (AFM), an instrument typically used to obtain molecular scale images, into a tool to build precisely aligned structures at those tiny dimensions. “I think this will be a very good tool for research in the laboratory because we should have very good control and get results relatively easily,” said Stefan Zauscher, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science who brought his expertise in designing and using atomic force microscopes to Duke.