Very impressive advancements have been made in this field. The goal is ultimately to visualize matter at the molecular and atomic level. This of course will resolve and hopefully prove many of the questions and mysteries of atomic physics. Ultrahigh resolution 3D images are currently available and they promise to continue to improve. The key elements of this technology are: 1) Ultra small magnetic tips with high moment materials, 2) Ultrasensitive micromechanical cantilevers, 3) Displacement transducers.
MRFM currently surpasses conventional, inductive nuclear resonance detectors by eight times in magnitude. MRFM can continue to improve by further decreasing the size of the magnetic tips and bringing the sample closer to them.
A good recent review of this technology is the following:
Peggio M., Degen C.L., Force-detected nuclear magnetic resonance: recent advances and future challenges. Nanotechnology. 21 (2010) 1-13
Adolfo Cotter, MD