Scanning Tunneling Microscopy: The new eyes and hands of the scientists

abstract

The scanning tunnelling microscopes have become the eyes of the scientists, a necessary and essential tool in the laboratories of education and research for the characterization of nanoscale. This article presents the basics of a tunneling microscope that have allowed scientists the visualization and modification of nanoscale surfaces. A methodology for the correct visualization and characterization of surfaces is described using the implemented instrument, reaching the bidimensional quantification of characteristics. This methodology, determined experimentally, takes into account critical parameters for stabilization of the tunnel current, such as the scanning speed and the geometries and dimensions of the microscope needles.

Figure 1: Relief of two complete 7 x 7 unit cells in 1982 [4]

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