How is the Data Displayed?
Most Scanning Probe experiments produce data as a function of the sample's x and y position. This data can range from tunneling current, to force between sample and tip, to height to reach a certain force etc. In the vast majority of cases, the data is displayed as a false colour image. Typically high values of the parameters being measured are assigned lighter colours while low values are given darker colours. An example is shown in the following:
Figure 9. This is a 3D image of carbon nanotubules in the x, y and z planes. The z plane is shown as a graded colour from dark (lowest) to light (highest). Original micrograph by Stuart Fraser is licenced under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 UK