Journal of the Korean Physical Society

, Volume 72, Issue 6, pp 658–661 | Cite as

Influence of the State of the Tungsten Tip on STM Topographic Images of SnSe Surfaces

  • Trinh Thi Ly
  • Jungdae Kim


Tin selenide (SnSe) has recently attracted significant attention because of its excellent thermoelectric properties with a figure of merit (ZT) of 2.6. Previous scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) studies of SnSe surfaces showed that only Sn atoms are resolved in topographic images due to the dominant contribution of the Sn 5pz states in tunneling. However, when the state of the tungsten (W) tip changes from a typical four-lobe d state such as d xy or \({d_{{x^2} - {y^2}}}\) to a two-lobe \({d_{{z^2}}}\) state, the atomic features observed on the SnSe surface in STM topography can be dramatically altered. In this report, we present the results of a systematic study on the influence of the W tip’s states on the STM images of SnSe surfaces. Sn atoms are observed with much stronger corrugation amplitude and smaller apparent radius when the tip is in a \({d_{{z^2}}}\) state. In addition, the atomic features of the Se atoms become visible because of the sharply focused shape of the W \({d_{{z^2}}}\) state. We expect our results to provide important information for establishing a better understanding of the microscopic nature of SnSe surfaces.


STM SnSe Tungsten tip Tip state 


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Copyright information

© The Korean Physical Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physics, BRL, and EHSRCUniversity of UlsanUlsanKorea

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