Lateral manipulation of single adsorbates and substrate atoms with the scanning tunneling microscope

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Meyer, G.; Rieder, K.H.: Lateral manipulation of single adsorbates and substrate atoms with the scanning tunneling microscope. In: MRS Bulletin 23 (1998), Nr. 1, S. 28-32. DOI:

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The stability and precision of modern scanning-tunneling-microscope (STM) systems allow positioning of the tip on a subnanometer scale. This advancement has stimulated diverse efforts on surface modifications in the nanometer and even atomic range, as recently reviewed by Avouris. The lateral movement of individual adatoms and molecules in a controlled manner on solid surfaces and the construction of structures on a nanoscale were first demonstrated by Eigler and collaborators at 4 K. The reason for operating the STM at low temperatures (apart from increased stability and sensitivity of the STM setup itself) is the necessity to freeze the motion of single adsorbates, which are very often mobile at ambient temperatures. By selecting strongly bonded adsorbate/substrate combinations and large molecules, it was possible to extend the lateral manipulation technique even to room temperature. In the case of large molecules, not only their translational motion but also internal flexure of the molecule during the positioning process must be considered. In general, different physical and chemical interaction mechanisms between tip and sample can be exploited for atomic-scale manipulation. We will concentrate in the following on lateral manipulation where solely the forces that act on the adsorbate because of the proximity of the tip are used. This means that long-range van der Waals and short-range chemical forces can be used to move atoms or molecules along the surface. No bias voltage or tunneling current is necessary. Apart from this technique, additional advances using the effects caused by the electric field generated by the bias voltage between tip and sample and by the current flowing through the gap region can be used for atomic or molecular modification.
License of this version: Es gilt deutsches Urheberrecht. Das Dokument darf zum eigenen Gebrauch kostenfrei genutzt, aber nicht im Internet bereitgestellt oder an Außenstehende weitergegeben werden. Dieser Beitrag ist aufgrund einer (DFG-geförderten) Allianz- bzw. Nationallizenz frei zugänglich.
Document Type: article
Publishing status: publishedVersion
Issue Date: 1998
Appears in Collections:Fakultät für Mathematik und Physik

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