Electrochemical etching of sharp tips for STM reveals singularity

Ulrich Quaade, Lene Oddershede

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Electrochemical etching of metal wires is widely used to produce atomically sharp tips for use in scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). In this letter we uncover the existence of a finite-time singularity in the process: Several of the physical parameters describing the system exhibit scaling towards and away from a particular singular point in time, exactly the time at which the wire breaks. The obtained scaling exponents coincide with exponents reported from other singular dynamical systems. The results also provide knowledge of how to control STM tip properties on the nano-scale.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEurophysics letters
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)611-617
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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