Ignacio Horcas talks with
ScienceWatch.com and answers a few questions about
this month's New Hot Paper in the field of
Article Title: WSXM: A software for scanning probe
microscopy and a tool for nanotechnology
I, et al.
Journal: REV SCI INSTR
Year: no.-013705 JAN 2007
* Nanotec Elect SL, Ctr Empresaial Euronova, 3,Ronda
Poniente 2, E-28049 Madrid, Spain.
* Nanotec Elect SL, Ctr Empresaial Euronova, E-28049
(addresses have been truncated)
Why do you think your paper is highly cited?
It describes some of the features of WSxM, one of the most commonly used
software packages in the Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) community. People
can download it for free at and in this page there
is a reference to the paper, so people know about it. We don't force
authors to cite the paper when using WSxM but we do appreciate it when
they do, and I think this is a way to say: "Thank you for making WSxM
available for free" from most of our users.
Does it describe a new discovery, methodology, or
synthesis of knowledge?
"WSxM is a
It covers a wide area of knowledge and methods. WSxM is a very complete
application and the result of a strong collaboration between some of the
best scientists in the Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) community and a
wonderful team of computer engineers.
Would you summarize the significance of your paper in
It explains one useful tool for the SPM community. We have developed a
software to offer powerful and easy experiments and data treatment.
How did you become involved in this research, and were
there any problems along the way?
I joined this project during my degree studies. I continued working in the
company after finishing my studies and some time later I became the
individual primarily responsible for this application.
Where do you see your research leading in the
I hope that the number of WSxM users will continue to grow so that it may
someday become the primary reference software throughout the SPM community.
Do you foresee any social or political implications for
I think the software itself does not imply any particular social or
political change. However, perhaps the working modes and experiments it
supplies can change some aspects of our way of life in the future.