Computer automation for scanning tunneling microscopy
by P. H. Schroer, J. Becker
Computer automation has become a necessary part of the scanning tunneling microscope (STM). We have designed a comprehensive data acquisition and image processing IBM PC/AT workstation to complement the STM. The computer is used to control the raster scans, to acquire multichannel analog data, and to store the data for later analysis both at the workstation and on a host computer. New features include the use of PC/AT extended memory, large backup storage, and image processing at the workstation. Real-time gray-scale imaging provides quick and comprehensive information to scientists and engineers. The system is flexible enough to interface with many microscope designs and with other laboratory automation projects. A mainframe host computer system is loosely coupled with the workstation to provide off-line processing, hard copy, and mass storage.