Scanning Microscopy


It has been known for three decades that tunneling experiments should be explained by the electronic structures of both electrodes. Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) is no exception. Since the development of STM in the early 1980s, experimental facts have repeatedly shown the necessity to explain the STM images and tunneling spectra from a two-sided point of view. In other words, the STM images and tunneling spectra should be explained by the interaction of the electron density distributions of the tip and the sample (in energy and space). In the early years of STM, due to a scarceness of experimental data and conceptual difficulties, a one-sided view was commonly used, which attributed the STM images and scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS) data to the electron density distribution of the sample only. As experimental findings accumulate and theoretical concepts develop, a consistent two-sided view of STM has been gradually formulated. This review article is a brief account of the two-sided view of STM in a conceptual and historical perspective.

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