A data visualization and processing tool for scanning probe microscopy (SPM, i.e. AFM, STM, MFM, SNOM/NSOM, ...) and profilometry, useful also for general image and 2D data analysis.Data visualization and processing tool for SPM for circuit design


Analyzing the properties of microscopic images require a powerful software capable of scanning probes and determining height fields. Accurate measurement at the nano-scale (nanometrology) is a critical tool for advanced nanotechnology applications, where exact quantities and engineering precision are beyond the capabilities of traditional measuring techniques and instruments. Gwyddion can help you do just that.

The application was designed specifically for SPM image data analysis. SPM, which stands for Scanning Probe Microscopy is a technique used to obtain high-quality atomic resolutions for certain probes. Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) builds up a picture of a specimen by scanning with a physical probe; unrestrained by the wavelength of light or electrons, the resolution obtainable with this technique can resolve atoms. The application uses advanced techniques used for SPM, such as AFM (Atomic Force Microscope), MFM (Magnetic Force Microscopy), STM (Scanning Tunneling Microscope), SNOM or NSOM (Near-field Scanning Optical Microscopy), each one being needed for various data analysis (see below). However, it can also be used for analyzing SEM (Scanning Electron Microscopy) data or any other 2D data.



Powerful 3D representations by scanning the depth of certain images, Gwyddion can help you obtain highly accurate 3D models of various probes contained by the image.

Primarily it is intended for analysis of height fields obtained by means of Scanning Probe Microscopy techniques (e.g. AFM, MFM, STM, SNOM/NSOM): you can adjust the height manually, useful for when the application calculates a slightly higher or lower model height than the one you need to obtain. Besides, you can apply color filters to correct image variations or faulty focus that occurred during image probing.

It can be used for all most frequently used data processing operations including: leveling, false color plotting, shading, filtering, denoising, data editing, integral transforms, grain analysis, profile extraction, fractal analysis, and many more (2D data analysis that could be easily extended by modules and plug-ins).

Then in adaptive data processing Gwyddion features many tools that can help you remove useless image details to obtain a crystal-clear image of the model you need to focus on. You can level data by several factors, such as mean plane subtraction or upward facet highlighting. Additionally, you can correct the noise and granulation of a scanned microscopic image by correcting lines and strokes or marking grains by threshold or watershed. For more accurate results, you can remove any polynomial background that the image contains, or interpolate data under a mask, which is usually the solution of a Laplace equation.


Quantitative Data Processing in Scanning Probe Microscopy - SPM Applications for NanometrologyQuantitative Data Processing in Scanning Probe Microscopy


Many Gwyddion related algorithms are described in book Quantitative Data Processing in Scanning Probe Microscopy where the author Petr Klapetek uses the latest research to unlock SPM as a toolkit for nanometrology in fields as diverse as nanotechnology, surface physics, materials engineering, thin film optics, and life sciences. Klapetek's considerable experience of Quantitive Data Processing, using software tools, enables him to not only explain the microscopy techniques, but also to demystify the analysis and interpretation of the data collected.


  • Unlocks the use of Scanning Probe Microscopyphysics (SPM) for nanometrology applications in engineering, physics, life science and earth science settings;
  • Provides practical guidance regarding areas of difficulty such as tip/sample interaction and calibration, making metrology applications achievable;
  • Gives guidance on data collection and interpretation, including the use of software-based modeling (using applications that are mostly freely available).

A paper about Gwyddion - Gwyddion: an open-source software for SPM data analysis - has been published in Central European Journal of Physics:



In this article, we review special features of Gwyddion—a modular, multiplatform, open-source software for scanning probe microscopy data processing, which is available at Gwyddion web site. We describe its architecture with emphasis on modularity and easy integration of the provided algorithms into other software. Special functionalities, such as data processing from non-rectangular areas, grain and particle analysis, and metrology support are discussed as well. It is shown that on the basis of open-source software development, a fully functional software package can be created that covers the needs of a large part of the scanning probe microscopy user community (see preview below).


About this publication.


The status of free software (Gwyddion is Free and Open Source software, covered by license GNU GPL) enables to provide source codes to developers and users, which makes the further program improvement easier. Gwyddion supports many SPM data formats (e.g.: .mspm, .nao, .nrrd, .nc, .spm, .stm, .sxm and so on).