The The AFM is one of the foremost tools for imaging, measuring, and manipulating matter at the nanoscale.
The information is gathered by "feeling" the surface with a mechanical probe.
Piezoelectric elements that facilitate tiny but accurate and precise movements on (electronic) command enable the very precise scanning.
Weber State University has received a National Science Foundation grant, requested by Drs. Colin Inglefield from the Physics Department and Marek Matyjasik from the Geoscience Department, in 2004 to purchase a new Pacific Nanotechnology atomic force microscope.
The AFM housed in the Physics Department has been used by dozens of physics and geosciences students to conduct their research studied with C. Inglefield and M. Matyjasik ant their collaborators from numerous universities.