In 1974 J. A. Panitz introduced the Imaging Atom Probe (IAP) which “... departs completely from atom probe philosophy. Rather than attempt to determine the identity of a surface species producing a preselected ion-image spot, we wish to determine the complete crystallographic distribution of a surface species of preselected mass-to-charge ratio. Now suppose that instead of operating the [detector] continuously, it is turned on for a short time coincidentally with the arrival of a preselected species of interest by applying a gate pulse a time T after the evaporation pulse has reached the specimen. If the duration of the gate pulse is shorter than the travel time between adjacent species, only that surface species having the unique travel time T will be detected and its complete crystallographic distribution displayed.” [18, 36] [1]  Video

The instrument was patented in 1975 as the Field Desorption Spectrometer, the same year that the IAP moniker was coined by A. R. Waugh. [12]