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Imaging by Sliding Planes in Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy

  • John D. Todd (a1) and John B. Pethica (a1)

Abstract

Scanning tunnelling microscope images of layered materials in a non-uhv environment exhibit various anomalous phenomena, including enhanced corrugation heights, periodicity over large areas and a marked absence of point defects. We have modified a precision indentation device to allow STM rastering of a tip across a surface, while simultaneously monitoring mechanical contact. Images we have obtained from this apparatus on an HOPG sample exhibit atomic scale resolution with contact areas much larger than a single atom. Contrast in the image results from periodic conductance fluctuations as the layers of the sample undergo shear in the region of the tip. We provide a model for this process, which explains a variety of curious, and otherwise unrelated phenomena occurring during STM imaging of these materials.

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Imaging by Sliding Planes in Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy

  • John D. Todd (a1) and John B. Pethica (a1)

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