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This blog is all about science and technology (with occasional math thrown in for fun). The goal of this blog is to try and pass on the sense of excitement and wonder I feel when I read about these topics. I hope you enjoy the posts.

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An Improved (Ultraprecise) Scanning Tunnel Microscope (STM)

Posted June 02, 2015 10:43 AM by Bayes

I came across this article today and thought I would pass it along.

Research pair find a way to measure electrical conductance at sites on individual atoms

A pair of researchers with the University of Tokyo has found a way to improve on scanning tunneling microscope (STM) technology where it is now possible to measure electrical conductance at individual sites on and between individual atoms. In their paper published in Physical Review Letters, Howon Kim and Yukio Hasegawa describe the changes they made and what they found using the newly improved device.

A STM is able to render imagery of atomic scale materials by using a needle with a tip so sharp that it is actually just one atom in size. To make images it measures electrons jumping from the tip to a material under study. Less well known is the ability to use a STM tip to touch materials under study, to move atoms or measure conductance of a material at atomic scale-due to the bonding that occurs between the tip and atoms on the surface of another material. But the touching technique has run into some problems, it can cause inadvertent movement of atoms or leave behind nanosized material bits, both of which can contaminate a sample. In this new effort, the research duo found a way to stabilize the tip so that neither problem occurs.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-06-pair-electrical-sites-individual-atoms.html#jCp

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