Scanning Tunneling Microscopy
STM is a surface microscope with extremely high spatial resolution, which enables us to see atoms on surfaces. When a sharp metal needle is located at a very proximate distance (~1 nm) from the sample surface (left panel in Fig. 97.1), tiny amount of electrical flow, called a tunneling current, is induced between them. Since the current is so sensitive to the variation in the tip-sample gap distance, atomic-scale surface corrugation can be detected by monitoring the current during the lateral scanning of the tip over the surface.
KeywordsSurface atomic structure Surface morphology Tunneling current Surface electronic states Atom manipulation