Concept

Scanning tunneling spectroscopy

Summary
Scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS), an extension of scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), is used to provide information about the density of electrons in a sample as a function of their energy. In scanning tunneling microscopy, a metal tip is moved over a conducting sample without making physical contact. A bias voltage applied between the sample and tip allows a current to flow between the two. This is as a result of quantum tunneling across a barrier; in this instance, the physical distance between the tip and the sample The scanning tunneling microscope is used to obtain "topographs" - topographic maps - of surfaces. The tip is rastered across a surface and (in constant current mode), a constant current is maintained between the tip and the sample by adjusting the height of the tip. A plot of the tip height at all measurement positions provides the topograph. These topographic images can obtain atomically resolved information on metallic and semi-conducting surfaces However,
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