Scanning probe microscopy (SPM), such as atomic force microscopy (AFM), is widely known for high-resolution imaging of surface structures and nanolithography in two dimensions (2D), providing important physical insights into surface science and material science. This work reports a new algorithm to enable construction and display of layer-by-layer 3D structures from SPM images. The algorithm enables alignment of SPM images acquired during layer-by-layer deposition and removal of redundant features and faithfully constructs the deposited 3D structures. The display uses a "see-through" strategy to enable the structure of each layer to be visible. The results demonstrate high spatial accuracy as well as algorithm versatility; users can set parameters for reconstruction and display as per image quality and research needs. To the best of our knowledge, this method represents the first report to enable SPM technology for 3D imaging construction and display. The detailed algorithm is provided to facilitate usage of the same approach in any SPM software. These new capabilities support wide applications of SPM that require 3D image reconstruction and display, such as 3D nanoprinting and 3D additive and subtractive manufacturing and imaging.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry