Figure 1
SecretDisc via Wikimedia Commonscantileverin_Scanning_Electron_Microscope,_magnification_1000x.GIF)

Precision tool. The position of an atomic force microscope tip is controlled by a piezoelectric device, but flexoelectric devices–which would depend on a similar effect–may be important in future nanoscale positioning. Researchers have shown how to build a large and controllable flexoelectric effect into the structure of a thin film.