Binnig, Gerd Carl (rus. Бинниг, Герд Карл) — (born in 1947) a German physicist, inventor of scanning tunnelling microscope (STM) and atomic force microscope (AFM). In 1986 he shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Heinrich Rohrer for their design of the STM. Binning’s developments expanded the possibilities of nanotechnologies allowing not only to visualize individual atoms, but also to manipulate them.


G.C. Binnig studied at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, where he then pursued post-graduate studies and earned his Doctorate degree in 1978. The same year he accepted an offer from IBM to join their Zurich research group. There, Binning met Rohrer, who revived his interest in physics. Working together, the scientists made key improvements to the design of the STM, including creating a probe with a single atom at the tip. With the tool created in 1981 Binnig and Rohrer demonstrated the surface structure of crystals and DNA strands and were the first to observe the process of virus separation from the host cell.

During his research leave in Stanford (USA), together with Christoph Gerber, his colleague from IBM Zurich, and professor Calvin Quate from Stanford University, he created the atomic force microscope, which opened new perspectives in microscopy. Unlike the STM that enables only the surfaces of metals and semiconductors to be explored, the AFM allows dielectric materials to be investigated.

In 1994 Binnig founded Delphi Creative Technologies GmbH, which specializes in the analysis of images of various sizes, from micrographs to satellite maps. Currently he leads the research activities of the company.




  • Popov Mikhail E.


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  2. Binnig, Gerd Karl // Encyclopedia of World Biography, 2005. — (reference date: 12.12.2011).
  3. Definiens Management Team // Definiens, 2010. — (reference date: 12.12.2011).
  4. Binnig, Gerd Karl // Encyclopedia of World Biography, 2005. — (reference date: 24.07.2010).