# Question #54895

Oct 4, 2015

Atoms are viewed using an STM, or scanning tunneling microscope.

#### Explanation:

A scanning tunneling microscope consists of the following parts.

1. A probe (very small, sharp tip that conducts electricity)
2. A piezoelectric* scanning device
3. A computer with processing software to analyze results and control the device

Electrical currents control the probe and scanner. Then, a 3-dimensional image is composed of the sample.

*Piezoelectric means the ability to generate an electrical or alternate charge when put under mechanical stress