Feature-oriented scanning (FOS) is a method of precision measurement of surface topography with a scanning probe microscope in which surface features (objects) are used as reference points for microscope probe attachment. With FOS method, by passing from one surface feature to another located nearby, the relative distance between the features and the feature neighborhood topographies are measured. This approach allows to scan an intended area of a surface by parts and then reconstruct the whole image from the obtained fragments. Beside the mentioned, it is acceptable to use another name for the method – object-oriented scanning (OOS).
Any topography element that looks like a hill or a pit in wide sense may be taken as a surface feature. Examples of surface features (objects) are: atoms, interstices, molecules, grains, nanoparticles, clusters, crystallites, quantum dots, nanoislets, pillars, pores, short nanowires, short nanorods, short nanotubes[disambiguation needed], viruses, bacteria, organelles, cells, etc.
FOS is designed for high-precision measurement of surface topography (see Fig.) as well as other surface properties and characteristics. Moreover, in comparison with the conventional scanning, FOS allows obtaining a higher spatial resolution. Thanks to a number of techniques embedded in FOS, the distortions caused by thermal drifts and creeps are practically eliminated.
FOS has the following fields of application: surface metrology, precise probe positioning, automatic surface characterization, automatic surface modification/stimulation, automatic manipulation of nanoobjects, nanotechnological processes of "bottom-up" assembly, coordinated control of analytical and technological probes in multiprobe instruments, control of atomic/molecular assemblers, control of probe nanolithographs, etc.
- R. V. Lapshin (2004). "Feature-oriented scanning methodology for probe microscopy and nanotechnology" (PDF). Nanotechnology (UK: IOP) 15 (9): 1135–1151. Bibcode:2004Nanot..15.1135L. doi:10.1088/0957-4484/15/9/006. ISSN 0957-4484. (Russian translation is available).
- R. V. Lapshin (2007). "Automatic drift elimination in probe microscope images based on techniques of counter-scanning and topography feature recognition" (PDF). Measurement Science and Technology (UK: IOP) 18 (3): 907–927. Bibcode:2007MeScT..18..907L. doi:10.1088/0957-0233/18/3/046. ISSN 0957-0233. (Russian translation is available).
- R. V. Lapshin (2011). "Feature-oriented scanning probe microscopy". In H. S. Nalwa. Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (PDF) 14. USA: American Scientific Publishers. pp. 105–115. ISBN 1-58883-163-9.
- R. Lapshin (2014). "Feature-oriented scanning probe microscopy: precision measurements, nanometrology, bottom-up nanotechnologies" (PDF). Electronics: Science, Technology, Business (Russian Federation: Technosphera Publishers) (Special issue “50 years of the Institute of Physical Problems”): 94–106. ISSN 1992-4178. (in Russian).
- R. V. Lapshin (2009). "Availability of feature-oriented scanning probe microscopy for remote-controlled measurements on board a space laboratory or planet exploration rover" (PDF). Astrobiology (USA: Mary Ann Liebert) 9 (5): 437–442. Bibcode:2009AsBio...9..437L. doi:10.1089/ast.2007.0173. ISSN 1531-1074. PMID 19566423.
- R. V. Lapshin (2014). http://www.lapshin.fast-page.org/publications.htm#observation2014
|url=missing title (help) (PDF). Observation of a hexagonal superstructure on pyrolytic graphite by method of feature-oriented scanning tunneling microscopy. Proceedings of the 25th Russian Conference on Electron Microscopy (SEM-2014) (in Russian) 1 (June 2-6, Chernogolovka, Russia: Russian Academy of Sciences): 316–317. ISBN 978-5-89589-068-4.
- D. W. Pohl, R. Möller (1988). "“Tracking” tunneling microscopy" (PDF). Review of Scientific Instruments (USA: AIP Publishing) 59 (6): 840–842. doi:10.1063/1.1139790. ISSN 0034-6748.
- B. S. Swartzentruber (1996). "Direct measurement of surface diffusion using atom-tracking scanning tunneling microscopy" (PDF). Physical Review Letters (USA: American Physical Society) 76 (3): 459–462. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.76.459. ISSN 0031-9007. PMID 10061462.
- S. B. Andersson, D. Y. Abramovitch (2007). http://ultra.bu.edu/papers/Andersson-Survey%20of%20non-raster%20scan%20methods-%20conference%20paper-%20missing%20from%20site.pdf
|url=missing title (help) (PDF). A survey of non-raster scan methods with application to atomic force microscopy. Proceedings of the American Control Conference (ACC'07) (July 9-13, New York, USA: IEEE): 3516–3521. doi:10.1109/ACC.2007.4282301. ISBN 1-4244-0988-8.
- Feature-oriented scanning, Research section, Lapshin's Personal Page on SPM & Nanotechnology