Quote /About Microscopy and From Microscopists

Erwin W. Müller

"From now on, we work with positive tip voltage."

In response to his assistant Gerrit Pankow in 1951 noting that the tip voltage polarity was set to be positive instead of negative during the first Field Ion Microscope experiments. These experiments lead to the first microscope that could clearly see a row of atoms.

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Erwin W. Müller

Erwin Wilhelm Müller (or Mueller) (June 13, 1911, in Berlin – May 17, 1977, in Washington D.C.) was a German physicist who invented the field emission microscope, the field ion microscope, and the atom probe. The field ion microscope, capable of giving a resolution of 2.5 Å, provided the first sharp, clear view of crystals on an atomic scale, showing the individual atoms and their arrangement on the surface. For this achievement he became famous as the first person to "see" atoms.

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