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Instrumental CommunityProbe Microscopy and the Path to Nanotechnology$
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Cyrus C. M. Mody

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262134941

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262134941.001.0001

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Inventing a Community

Inventing a Community

(p.27) 2 Inventing a Community
Instrumental Community

Cyrus C. M. Mody

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses the process of building an instrumental community by examining the roles of the U.S. National Bureau of Standards (NBS) and IBM’s research laboratory in Switzerland in developing standards and specifications necessary for the development and use of the scanning tunnelling microscope (STM). Scientists from IBM worked jointly with surface science professionals from the NBS to develop universal specifications for the development and use of the STM despite prevailing differences between the two organizations regarding the definition and use of probe microscopy in research studies. These differences demonstrate the challenges involved in developing an instrumental community. The chapter finds that the designers of the STM have been able to modify its features and use according to specific requirements of surface science professionals, resulting in the emergence of a related instrumental community.

Keywords:   instrumental community, standards, universal specifications, surface science, probe microscopy

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