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Possible mechanisms of atom transfer in scanning tunneling microscopy

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1 Author(s)
Gomer, Robert ; The James Franck Institute, The University of Chicago, 5640 Ellis Avenue, Illinois 60637, USA

Various mechanisms for the sudden transfer of an atom from or to the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope are considered. It is concluded that thermal desorption could be responsible and also that quasi-contact in which the adsorbed atom is in effect “touching” both surfaces, which would still be separated from each other by 2–4 Å, can lead to unactivated transfer via tunneling. For barrier widths as small as 0.5 Å, however, tunneling becomes negligible.

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: 4 )