Scanning tunneling microscopy: A chemical perspective

C. J. Chen, M. Tsukada, V. T. Binh, Stuart Lindsay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this review article, scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) is presented in a chemical perspective. The typical distance from the nucleus of the apex atom of the tip to the top-layer nuclei of the sample is 4-6 Å, where a strong attractive atomic force, i.e., a partial covalent bond, arises between the tip and the sample. The origin of the covalent bond is the back-and- forth transfer of electrons between two atoms, which Pauling has called resonance. While a bias voltage is applied between them, a net electron current in a specific direction arises. This tunneling current is a result of the overlap of the tip electronic state and the sample electronic state, same as the chemical bond. The imaging process of STM can be considered as a sequence of local bond forming and bond rupturing. A quantitative understanding of the STM imaging mechanism can be achieved in such a chemical perspective. A natural consequence of this perspective is that the tip, partially bonded with the sample, can play an active role in local chemical reactions. The tip can either involve directly in a chemical reaction with the atoms on the sample surface or induce local chemical reactions on the sample surface as a local catalyst.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)793-804
Number of pages12
JournalScanning Microscopy
Volume7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1993
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Scanning tunneling microscopy
scanning tunneling microscopy
Chemical reactions
Covalent bonds
Electronic states
Atoms
Imaging techniques
chemical reactions
Electrons
Chemical bonds
covalent bonds
Bias voltage
rupturing
atoms
Catalysts
nuclei
chemical bonds
electronics
apexes
electrons

Keywords

  • atomic force microscopy
  • chemical bond
  • Scanning tunneling microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation

Cite this

Chen, C. J., Tsukada, M., Binh, V. T., & Lindsay, S. (1993). Scanning tunneling microscopy: A chemical perspective. Scanning Microscopy, 7(3), 793-804.

Scanning tunneling microscopy : A chemical perspective. / Chen, C. J.; Tsukada, M.; Binh, V. T.; Lindsay, Stuart.

In: Scanning Microscopy, Vol. 7, No. 3, 09.1993, p. 793-804.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chen, CJ, Tsukada, M, Binh, VT & Lindsay, S 1993, 'Scanning tunneling microscopy: A chemical perspective', Scanning Microscopy, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 793-804.
Chen, C. J. ; Tsukada, M. ; Binh, V. T. ; Lindsay, Stuart. / Scanning tunneling microscopy : A chemical perspective. In: Scanning Microscopy. 1993 ; Vol. 7, No. 3. pp. 793-804.
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