Volumes II, III and IV examine the physical and technical foundation for recent progress in applied near-field scanning probe techniques, and build upon the first volume published in early 2004. The field is progressing so fast that there is a need for a second set of volumes to capture the latest developments. It constitutes a timely comprehensive overview of SPM applications, now that industrial applications span topographic and dynamical surface studies of thin-film semiconductors, polymers, paper, ceramics, and magnetic and biological materials. Volume II introduces scanning probe microscopy, including sensor technology, Volume III covers the whole range of characterization possibilities using SPM and Volume IV offers chapters on uses in various industrial applications. The international perspective offered in these three volumes - which belong together - contributes further to the evolution of SPM techniques.