Scope and History

Scope of ISPM
This meeting is dedicated to emphasizing new developments in scanning probe microscopy and the role of SPM techniques at the interface of physics, biology, material sciences, and chemistry focusing specifically on bio- and nano-technologies.

Topics addressed in this meeting include (but not limited to):


• Novel developments in SPM techniques: theory

• Novel developments in SPM techniques: instrumentations applied to STM, SCIM, Kelvin probe, AFM-Raman... 

• Novel developments in SPM techniques: applications in nanoscience 

• Multifrequency AFM

• High-Speed AFM

• SPM applications in electronic devices (metals, semiconductors, and dielectrics)

• SPM applications in biophysics, nanomedicine, and bio-nanotechnology

• SPM methods in nanoengineering and nanomanipulation
• Novel developments in photonics and plasmonic methods combined with SPM technique
• Novel developments in nano- and bio-sensors


History of ISPM     View pictures of previous meetings     View pictures of ISPM2014 Seoul
The International Scanning Probe Microscopy (ISPM) conference in 2014, being held in Seoul, Korea, will mark the 16th year that this conference has been held rotating between Europe, Asia, and North-South America. Collectively over the years of its existence the ISPM conference has a yearly attendance that has averaged about 125 people.

Historically the ISPM conference can be traced back to a session on scanning tunneling microscopy that was part of a larger meeting sponsored by Scanning Microscopy International. This conference encompassed a variety of scientific disciplines, was held annually in the United States, and was organized by Om Johari the editor and founder of the journal Scanning Microscopy. In 1990, Dr. Johari asked David Allison (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) if he would organize a session on scanning tunneling microscopy for the Scanning Microscopy. International conference to be held in May of 1991. At that time most imaging was done with STM since AFM was just beginning to be used.

The first meeting, held in Bethesda, Maryland, in 1991 was organized by David Allison and Ronald Edstrom (University of Minnesota) with a total of 16 papers presented. Subsequent meetings were held in Chicago (1992), Los Angeles (1993), Toronto (1994), Houston (1995), Bethesda (1996). Chicago (1997) marked the end of the Scanning Microscopy International conference and our session, now named Scanning Probe Microscopy, had grown to 58 papers presented.

At the 1997 meeting in Chicago organized by David Allison (Oak Ridge National Laboratory), Jean-Pierre Bucher (University Louis Pasteur), Mervyn Miles (University of Bristol), Masamichi Fujihira (University of Yokohama), Heinrich Hoerber (European Molecular Biology Laboratory Heidelberg), Douglas Thomson (University of Manitoba) and Yuri Lyubchenko (Arizona State University) some of us were determined to turn our session into an international conference. At this meeting we formed a group that included Hiroshi Iwasaki, Osaka University, from the session, Formation and Properties of Nanoscaled Structures that was part of the International Scanning Probe Microscopy conference together with Mervyn Miles, Heinrich Hoerber, Masamichi Fujihira and David Allison from our Scanning Probe Microscopies group to organize what is today ISPM. Collectively we agreed that the meeting would be in late May or early June. This yearly meeting would rotate between Asia, Europe, and North-South America. Responsibility for organizing a meeting would be with the organizer of the country where the meeting was held. We also realized that to be truly an inclusive international conference it would be important that we recruit organizers in more countries. At this meeting we also realized that we would not be able to have a meeting in 1998 but we could make plans for a meeting in 1999.

Seattle (1999) was organized by David Allison (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Chunli Bai (Chinese Academy of Sciences), Masamichi Fujihira (Institute of technology Yokohama), Christian LeGrimellec INSERM Montpellier), Uwe Hartmann (University of Saarbrucken), Heinrich Hoerber (European Molecular Biology Laboratory Heidelberg), Mervyn Miles (University of Bristol), Jun Nogami (Michigan State University), Patrick Oden (Oak Ridge National Laboratory), Manfred Radmacher (Ludwig Maximilians University). Prior to that first meeting we also made a deal with the journal Ultramicroscopy that they would publish papers submitted at our meetings with the stipulation that we would be responsible for getting papers peer reviewed. Our association with Ultramicroscopy lasted through the meeting held in 2006.

The Seattle meeting was called Scanning Probe Microscopy Cantilever Sensors and Nanostructures since we wanted to capture everything that was going on with scanning probe microscopes. Professor Calvin Quate was our Plenary Speaker with the title of his talk being “The Scanning Probe Microscopes: The first Decade and Future Projections.” The following year the conference title became Scanning Probe Microscopy Sensors and Nanostructures. This name held until the conference became International Scanning Probe Microscopy Conference (ISPM) in 2007 when the conference was held in Jeju, South Korea. Over the years the conference that is now ISPM has been held in Seattle (1999), Heidelberg (2000), Tokyo (2001), Las Vegas (2002), Oxford (2003), Beijing-TEDA (2004), Cancun (2005), Montpellier (2006), Jeju (2007), Seattle (2008) Madrid (2009), Sapporo (2010), Munich (2011), Toronto (2012), Dijon (2013).

(Dave Allison wrote in May 2014)

1999 Seattle
2000 Heidelberg
2001 Tokyo
2002 Las Vegas
2003 Oxford
2004 Tiangjin
2005 Cancun
2006 Montpellier
2007 Jeju Island (organizer: Haiwon Lee)
2008 Seattle
2009 Madrid
2010 Sapporo
2011 Munich
2012 Toronto (organizer: Zoya Leonenko)
2013 Dijon (organizer: Eric Lesniewska)
2014 Seoul (organizer: Joon Won Park)