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Seeing dynamic phenomena with live scanning tunneling microscopy

  • Joost W.M. Frenken (a1) and Irene M.N. Groot (a2)

Abstract

Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) is an excellent technique to image the surfaces of materials with extreme spatial resolution. However, it is difficult to maintain its imaging quality when applying the technique under the conditions used in many practical processes, such as chemical vapor deposition and catalysis. In this article, we describe two special classes of STM instruments that are capable of maintaining good imaging quality under “difficult” conditions, namely, one for high and variable temperatures and the other for the combination of high temperatures and high gas pressures. In both cases, we discuss the special design features that make these instruments robust with respect to the challenging imaging conditions and provide examples to illustrate how they are applied.

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