Time-resolved current response of a nanosecond laser pulse illuminated STM tip
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Time-resolved dependence of the transient current through a ns laser pulse illuminated scanning tunneling microscope (STM) tip/sample gap in tunneling mode and out of tunneling range is presented. A self-designed fast STM-preamplifier (bandwidth 35 MHz) allows one to resolve the fine structure of the transient signal as well as the observation of some effects that are undetectable by using conventional low-band preamplifiers. The dependence of the threshold laser pulse intensity, which corresponds to the beginning of electron emission from tip (in non-tunneling mode), as a function of the tip/sample distance was investigated. At tip/sample distances from tunnel contact up to approximately 1 μm a linear dependence is found. This behavior is in good agreement with the theory for field enhancement in a STM tip/sample system. In tunneling mode a ns (fast component) as well as a μs (slow component) current response was found as a result of the laser pulse illumination. These data suggest the tip bending to be an important factor in clarifying the thermal/mechanical mechanism of laser-assisted surface nanomodification.
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