In this Progress Report, outstanding scientific applications of scanning probe microscopy (SPM) in the field of materials science and the latest technique developments are introduced and discussed. Besides being able to image the organization of matter with sub-nanometer resolution, SPM, owing to its basic operating principle, provides the power to measure, analyze, and even quantify properties of matter on the nanometer length scale. Moreover, because of its unique potential to manipulate the organization of atoms, molecules, assemblies, or particles and to structure surfaces in a controlled fashion, in the fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology SPM has become one of the most powerful tools for preparation and analysis of nanostructures and their functionality. Because of the tremendous variety of its applications, only selected—but subjectively exceptional—topics are considered in this Progress Report, showing the full potential of SPM.
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