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Posted: July 8, 2010
1000th Nanosurf Scanning Tunneling Microscope Goes to High School
(Nanowerk News) Nanosurf delivers its 1000th Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) to the
Claude-Dornier-Schule, a technical high school in Friedrichshafen, Germany, near the Bodensee (Lake
Constance). The STM was demonstrated during an official event that attracted a large number of interested
students, teachers, and representatives of the local press.
The event was organized by Dr. Heinz Beister as grand finale to a teaching course in "Specialty
Technologies: Micro- and Nanotechnology". Beister — who teaches Physics, Chemistry, Microsystem
Technologies, as well as Aerospace Technology and Astronomy at the Claude-Dornier-Schule — is also
strongly involved in the school's "Jugend forscht" (a national contest that motivated high school students
can enter with their own science projects) activities. Beister initiated the purchase of the STM out of school
funding with full support of the school's principal, Mr. Alfred Greis.
Assembly hall of the Claude-Dornier-Schule: engaged students perform their part in the demonstrations.
"As Nanotechnology advances more and more into our daily lives", Beister says, "it is important to keep the
school curriculum up-to-date with such technologies; otherwise our teaching no longer has any relevance
to our students, nor does it stimulate their interest in science and technology. We have a real responsibility
to introduce current equipment into the classroom if our young people are to be prepared for
developments to come".
It is estimated that global revenues from products incorporating Nanotechnology could exceed 2.78 trillion
US-Dollar by end of the year 2015, corresponding to an amazing 15 percent of the global production of
goods. "Teaching Nanotechnology should begin now, at all levels of education, if we are not to miss the
boat here", Beister stresses. His sentiments were echoed by students that took part in the Nanotechnology
course and are in agreement with a recently published report by the German Ministry for Education and
Beister's students showed the results of their work on posters describing different fields of Nanotechnology
and in live demonstrations of advanced practical assignment projects. The enthusiastic audience was then
introduced to STM technology through a lecture by Dr. Paul Werten from Nanosurf. Directly afterwards, Dr.
Marcus Weth, representative of Schaefer Technologie GmbH (Nanosurf's German distribution partner),
amazed all present by showing atoms and quantum-mechanical phenomena on a test sample within
minutes of unpacking the nano-microscope. "Nanosurf's well-known ease of use makes the STM an ideal
teaching instrument that students can actually handle themselves", Weth says.
The Claude-Dornier-Schule is the second German high school to come into possession of the Nanosurf STM,
the first being the Hans-Thoma-Gymnasium in Lörrach. Dr. Bernd Kretschmer from this school founded the
"Phaenovum" student research center: an institution set out to kindle high school students' engagement in
science and technology projects that bring together high schools, universities and companies in the socalled
"Dreiländereck" (the area between Basel, Freiburg and Mulhouse). Kretschmer was recently awarded
an honorable doctorate degree for his efforts by the University of Basel, Switzerland.
Beister hopes to create a similar center in the Bodensee area, which is Germany's high-tech region number
two after Stuttgart, to further the cooperation between the educational system and local industry, and to
generate an attractive effect for the Bodensee area that will open up occupational perspectives for his
students. "This is an investment in our most talented students", Beister and Greis agree, "that will not only
ensure their future, but that of the entire region as well".
That the 1000th Nanosurf STM should go to a high school seems only fitting, as it was a similar demand back
in 1996 that actually led to the founding of Nanosurf and to its first product, the easyScan STM. Heinrich
Schenkel, Physics teacher at a high school in Oberwil, Switzerland, was the first to express his wish to make
the nanoworld of atoms and molecules available to his students. When Nanosurf made their STM available
to the public, other customers were quick to follow, leading to a rapid success of the Nanosurf STM, as
documented by the 100, 500 and 1000 STM milestones. From that original request to the present day,
Nanosurf developed into a leading manufacturer of atomic force microscopes (AFM), scanning tunneling
microscopes (STM) and their accessories. The company supplies and supports professionals in education,
research and industry alike, with approximately 2000 systems operational worldwide. Nanosurf has its
headquarters in Liestal, Switzerland, a subsidiary in Boston (Saugus), USA, and distribution partners all
around the globe.