Two-probe STM experiments at the atomic level

ROM 2017-09
Author: Marek Kolmer /
Publication: Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, DOI:

Direct characterization of planar atomic or molecular scale devices and circuits on a supporting surface by multi-probe measurements requires unprecedented stability of single atom contacts and manipulation of scanning probes over large, nanometers scale area with atomic precision. In their work Kolmer et. al describe the full methodology behind atomically defined two-probe scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) experiments performed on a model system: dangling bond dimer wire supported on hydrogenated germanium (001) surface.

Authors show that 70 nm long atomic wire can be simultaneously approached by two independent STM scanners with exact probe to probe distance reaching down to 30 nm. This allows direct wire characterization by two-probe I-V characteristics at distances below 50 nm. The technical results presented in this work open a new area for multi-probe research, which can be now performed with precision so far accessible only by single-probe scanning probe microscopy (SPM) experiments.

Author(s): Marek Kolmer1, Piotr Olszowski1, Rafal Zuzak1, Szymon Godlewski1, Christian Joachim2,3 and Marek Szymonski1

1) Centre for Nanometer-Scale Science and Advanced Materials, NANOSAM, Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and Applied Computer Science, Jagiellonian University, Lojasiewicza 11, 30-348 Krakow, Poland
2) Nanoscience Group & MANA Satellite, CEMES/CNRS, 29 rue Marvig, BP 94347, 31055 Toulouse, France
3) International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (MANA), National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), 1-1 Namiki, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0044, Japan