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Variation of the thermovoltage across a vacuum tunneling barrier: Copper islands on Ag(111)

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6 Author(s)
Rettenberger, A. ; Fakultät für Physik, Universität Konstanz, Postfach 5560 M683, D‐78434 Konstanz, Germany ; Baur, C. ; Lauger, K. ; Hoffmann, D.
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If there is a temperature difference between tip and sample of a scanning tunneling microscope a thermovoltage is generated which is very sensitive to the electronic states involved in the tunneling process. This has been used, e.g., to distinguish between different metals of a heterogeneous metallic surface. To demonstrate the capability of this method it has been applied to copper islands on a Ag(111) surface. Knowing the thermopower for chemically homogeneous silver and copper surfaces of -45 and -15 μV/K, respectively, islands of copper on the silver substrate can be well identified with a lateral resolution of 1 nm. © 1995 American Institute of Physics.

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Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:67 ,  Issue: 9 )