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Surface modification with the scanning tunneling microscope

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4 Author(s)
Abraham, David W. ; Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Center for Advanced Materials, California 94720, USA ; Mamin, H.Jonathon ; Ganz, Eric ; Clarke, John

We describe the design and operation of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) intended for studying surfaces. We are able to prepare samples with ion bombardment and heating, and to characterize them with LEED and Auger analysis in situ before scanning with the STM. Data acquisition and analysis are computer-controlled, with a wide variety of options for presentation. In the near future, we will be able to load-lock samples without venting the UHV chamber. Our STM has very low thermal drift, typically of the order of 1 Å/min. In addition to topographical measurements of the surface, we have obtained spatially resolved maps related to the height of the tunnel barrier. We have investigated the effects of scratching the surface with the tip, and have also succeeded in depositing material from the tip onto the surface. Surface diffusion of material is found to play an important role in both of these processes.

Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.  

Published in:

IBM Journal of Research and Development  (Volume:30 ,  Issue: 5 )