Atomic 'Swiss Army knife' precisely measures materials for quantum computers

It images single atoms. It maps atomic-scale hills and valleys on metal and insulating surfaces. And it records the flow of current across atom-thin materials subject to giant magnetic fields. Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a novel instrument that can make three kinds of atom-scale measurements simultaneously. Together, these measurements can uncover new knowledge about a wide range of special materials that are crucial for developing the next generation of quantum computers, communications and a host of other applications.