Quantitative STM imaging of metal surfaces
Many deductions made about STM images are based upon the model of Tersoff and Hamann, in which images are given in principal by a combination of surface atomic positions and local charge density. There is a now a need for a fuller understanding of this technique in order to explain experimental evidence which indicates that the tip and sample can interact strongly during normal imaging. In order to investigate the fundamental STM imaging process, a method for deducing the tunnel barrier height has been developed which is based on corrugation height measurements of constant current topographs. From experiments on clean Cu(100), values of the tunnel barrier height have been shown to be somewhat below the workfunction (~ 1-2.5eV) but are in good agreement with other reports of atomically resolved barrier height data. At large values of the tunnel conductance (~ 1μS), a fall-off (based upon extrapolation of large separation data) in the corrugation heights is observed with increasing conductance. This effect is quantitatively explained using a Molecular Dynamics simulation of the tip approaching the sample. The simulation gives a good estimate of both the absolute tip-sample separation and site-dependent tip-surface forces. Distributions of corrugation heights indicate that variations in both tip geometry and chemistry are likely to occur in practice and strongly influence the phenomena described above. Similarly, it is found that increased local tunnel barrier heights are measured when the Cu(100) surface is modified with small numbers of single halogen atoms. This data has been used to estimate the contributions to the increase in local barrier height of both adsorbate induced dipoles and geometric topography. Values for the charge transfer between the surface and adsorbate have been established. The process of tip-induced adsorbate manipulation has also been demonstrated at room temperature.