The Surface Sciences are a very interesting field, and we can think of absolutely no other science which has a truer example of the ideal of hardware and software working together flawlessly in order to create high quality solutions for the user which are both extremely well designed, timesaving, and also can stand the test of time. In all respects, good design, high quality, and timesaving in processes is the trinity of most industrial projects, and a German company, SPECS, and their range of scanning force microscopes are the perfect example of these tenants being achieved thanks to the fact that software and hardware works so well with each other.
If you are not familiar with surface sciences, essentially a scanning probe microscope is an instrument which is designed to “feel” a surface at an atomic level (some of the probes which are used in these microscopes can literally have a tip of an atom) in order to project a picture to a scientist of what exactly it looks like where the eye can’t see – thanks to the fact that each and every different atom will react a different way to said probe. Seeing isn’t the only point in these, however. A scanning probe microscope is capable of moving atoms themselves in order to assist identification.
When the probe moves, it sends absolutely every reading to a computer, which then works with SPECS own software in order to ascertain what exactly said material is, and project a map to a scientist which will assist them with a visual representation of what the eye can’t see. This technology is used in a surprising number of instances – in most aspects of everyday life. The mixture of hardware and software working intelligently together provides a scientist with a workflow reduction, allowing he or her to achieve a much higher workflow - in order to solve problems better.
From DNA Analysis and the research of diseases and cures to everyday material analysis for manufacturers, there is so much application within the surface sciences that analysis techniques are imperative to do right and to do well.