Imaging silicon by atomic force microscopy with crystallographically oriented tips
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- Giessibl, F., Hembacher, S., Bielefeldt, H. et al. Appl Phys A (2001) 72(Suppl 1): S15. doi:10.1007/s003390100627
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The images obtained by atomic force microscopy (AFM) originate from a convolution of atomic tip and sample states. Since the vertical resolution of AFM is approaching the picometer level, the atomic and subatomic structure of the tip is becoming increasingly important. Here, we demonstrate the preparation of crystallographically oriented AFM tips by breaking a silicon wafer along its preferential cleavage planes. Assuming bulk termination, the front atom of this tip should expose a single dangling bond. Images derived with this tip are consistent with this speculated tip geometry and show unprecedented vertical distinction of the six different surface atom sites of the Si(111)-(7×7) structure.