The main purpose of this section is to ask you about problems I have not figured out yet. I'd sincerely appreciate any hints regarding the following issues - and of course I'd appreciate any questions and remarks you might have about this site!

My questions

Tip wire: [Update] Several people have answered my earlier question about recipes for cutting or etching of tips – thanks to all of you! I have compiled some of the suggestions on the Applications page.

Image processing software: While I plan to build some online image display into the data acquisition software itself, it would be nice to further process images, e.g. by filtering, contrast enhancement, section profiling, maybe pseudo 3D views etc. Some free or trial software packages for quantitative image analysis are listed on the Software page, including one specialized package for scanning probe images. Does anybody have special favorites among or beyond those I found?

Data formats: [New!] On a related note, are there any "quasi-standard" data formats people use to store STM images/data? I would hope there is a typical 16 bit grayscale, uncompressed data format that is easy to write (from my own, still non-existent PC program), and can be read by the majority of post-processing programs.

Application suggestions: As mentioned elsewhere, I started this project without giving much thought to possible STM applications; just planning and building the instrument was fun enough (and still is). Since the project still looks like it might actually reach completion some time, I'm wondering about applications beyond graphite. The choice of conductive materials suitable for investigation under ambient conditions seems somewhat limited. Any suggestions on accessible objects, which don't require low-temperature, high vacuum or highly involved preparation techniques?

Your questions

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