One of the greatest challenges of working with nano-scale devices is imaging and characterizing features on such a small scale. Although there are a number of microscopy tools with nanometer or near-nanometer resolution, each tool has specific limitations. This article compares the use of different microscopy tools for characterizing several types of nano-devices. It shows that most information can be obtained by using several complementary tools to analyze each device. The microscopy tools discussed are scanning electron microscopy (SEM)-in-SEM, forward scattered electron imaging, photoelectron emission microscope, and atomic force microscopy. The article also provides a survey of the more common nano-scale devices such as carbon nano-tubes, fluorescent nano-particles, and molecular conductors.

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