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Radio-frequency scanning tunnelling microscopy

The scanning tunnelling microscope (STM) relies on localized electron tunnelling between a sharp probe tip and a conducting sample to attain atomic-scale spatial resolution. In the 25-year period since its invention, the STM has helped uncover a wealth of phenomena in diverse physical systems-rangin... Full description

Journal Title: Nature 2007-11-01, Vol.450 (7166), p.85-88
Main Author: Ekinci, K. L
Other Authors: Kemiktarak, U , Ndukum, T , Schwab, K. C
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language: English
Subjects:
Publisher: London: Nature Publishing
ID: ISSN: 0028-0836
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recordid: cdi_proquest_miscellaneous_68458598
title: Radio-frequency scanning tunnelling microscopy
format: Article
creator:
  • Ekinci, K. L
  • Kemiktarak, U
  • Ndukum, T
  • Schwab, K. C
subjects:
  • Electronics
  • Exact sciences and technology
  • General
  • Instruments, apparatus, components and techniques common to several branches of physics and astronomy
  • Nanocomposites
  • Nanomaterials
  • Nanostructure
  • Physics
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • Scanning probe microscopes, components and techniques
  • Scanning tunneling microscopy
  • Semiconductors
  • Tunnel junctions
ispartof: Nature, 2007-11-01, Vol.450 (7166), p.85-88
description: The scanning tunnelling microscope (STM) relies on localized electron tunnelling between a sharp probe tip and a conducting sample to attain atomic-scale spatial resolution. In the 25-year period since its invention, the STM has helped uncover a wealth of phenomena in diverse physical systems-ranging from semiconductors to superconductors to atomic and molecular nanosystems. A severe limitation in scanning tunnelling microscopy is the low temporal resolution, originating from the diminished high-frequency response of the tunnel current readout circuitry. Here we overcome this limitation by measuring the reflection from a resonant inductor-capacitor circuit in which the tunnel junction is embedded, and demonstrate electronic bandwidths as high as 10 MHz. This ∼100-fold bandwidth improvement on the state of the art translates into fast surface topography as well as delicate measurements in mesoscopic electronics and mechanics. Broadband noise measurements across the tunnel junction using this radio-frequency STM have allowed us to perform thermometry at the nanometre scale. Furthermore, we have detected high-frequency mechanical motion with a sensitivity approaching ∼15 fm Hz-1/2. This sensitivity is on par with the highest available from nanoscale optical and electrical displacement detection techniques, and the radio-frequency STM is expected to be capable of quantum-limited position measurements.
language: eng
source:
identifier: ISSN: 0028-0836
fulltext: no_fulltext
issn:
  • 0028-0836
  • 1476-4687
  • 1476-4679
url: Link


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descriptionThe scanning tunnelling microscope (STM) relies on localized electron tunnelling between a sharp probe tip and a conducting sample to attain atomic-scale spatial resolution. In the 25-year period since its invention, the STM has helped uncover a wealth of phenomena in diverse physical systems-ranging from semiconductors to superconductors to atomic and molecular nanosystems. A severe limitation in scanning tunnelling microscopy is the low temporal resolution, originating from the diminished high-frequency response of the tunnel current readout circuitry. Here we overcome this limitation by measuring the reflection from a resonant inductor-capacitor circuit in which the tunnel junction is embedded, and demonstrate electronic bandwidths as high as 10 MHz. This ∼100-fold bandwidth improvement on the state of the art translates into fast surface topography as well as delicate measurements in mesoscopic electronics and mechanics. Broadband noise measurements across the tunnel junction using this radio-frequency STM have allowed us to perform thermometry at the nanometre scale. Furthermore, we have detected high-frequency mechanical motion with a sensitivity approaching ∼15 fm Hz-1/2. This sensitivity is on par with the highest available from nanoscale optical and electrical displacement detection techniques, and the radio-frequency STM is expected to be capable of quantum-limited position measurements.
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subjectElectronics ; Exact sciences and technology ; General ; Instruments, apparatus, components and techniques common to several branches of physics and astronomy ; Nanocomposites ; Nanomaterials ; Nanostructure ; Physics ; Scanning electron microscopy ; Scanning probe microscopes, components and techniques ; Scanning tunneling microscopy ; Semiconductors ; Tunnel junctions
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abstractThe scanning tunnelling microscope (STM) relies on localized electron tunnelling between a sharp probe tip and a conducting sample to attain atomic-scale spatial resolution. In the 25-year period since its invention, the STM has helped uncover a wealth of phenomena in diverse physical systems-ranging from semiconductors to superconductors to atomic and molecular nanosystems. A severe limitation in scanning tunnelling microscopy is the low temporal resolution, originating from the diminished high-frequency response of the tunnel current readout circuitry. Here we overcome this limitation by measuring the reflection from a resonant inductor-capacitor circuit in which the tunnel junction is embedded, and demonstrate electronic bandwidths as high as 10 MHz. This ∼100-fold bandwidth improvement on the state of the art translates into fast surface topography as well as delicate measurements in mesoscopic electronics and mechanics. Broadband noise measurements across the tunnel junction using this radio-frequency STM have allowed us to perform thermometry at the nanometre scale. Furthermore, we have detected high-frequency mechanical motion with a sensitivity approaching ∼15 fm Hz-1/2. This sensitivity is on par with the highest available from nanoscale optical and electrical displacement detection techniques, and the radio-frequency STM is expected to be capable of quantum-limited position measurements.
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