Scanning Microscopy


Tip-induced modifications of microscopic processes in scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) of the Si(l00) surface are investigated with ab initio total energy pseudopotential calculations. The results of the calculations lead to a new understanding of the microscopic STM measurement process and the micro-mechanical changes (hysteresis and plastic deformation) in the AFM process. In particular, in the latter case, the results predict that the tip can be used to flip dimers on the surface, from one buckled configuration to the other, reversibly, and without inducing damage to either the intrinsic surface or the tip.

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