Field-Induced Deformation as a Mechanism for Scanning Tunneling Microscopy Based Nanofabrication

Ole Hansen, Jan Tue Ravnkilde, Ulrich Quaade, Kurt Stokbro, Francois Grey

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    Abstract

    The voltage between tip and sample in a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) results in a large electric field localized near the tip apex. The mechanical stress due to this field can cause appreciable deformation of both tip and sample on the scale of the tunnel gap. We derive an approximate analytical expression for this deformation and confirm the validity of the result by comparison with a finite element analysis. We derive the condition for a field-induced jump to contact of tip and sample and show that this agrees well with experimental results for material transfer between tip and sample by voltage pulsing in ultrahigh vacuum.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPhysical Review Letters
    Volume81
    Issue number25
    Pages (from-to)5572-5575
    ISSN0031-9007
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1998

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright (1998) by the American Physical Society.

    Keywords

    • TIP
    • INTERATOMIC FORCES
    • CONFIGURATION
    • GIANT CORRUGATIONS
    • GRAPHITE SURFACE
    • STM
    • EMISSION

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