Application of magnetic atom induced bound states in superconducting gap for chemical identification of single magnetic atoms

Shuai-Hua Ji; Tong Zhang; Ying-Shuang Fu; Xi Chen; Jin-Feng Jia; Qi-Kun Xue; Xu-Cun Ma
February 2010
Applied Physics Letters;2/15/2010, Vol. 96 Issue 7, p073113
Academic Journal
Elemental identification at single atom level has been achieved with a low temperature scanning tunneling microscope. Magnetic atoms (Mn or Cr) adsorbed on a superconducting Pb substrate induce a set of well-defined resonance states inside the superconductor gap in scanning tunneling spectroscopy. We show that these localized characteristic bound states could serve as fingerprint for chemical identification of the corresponding atoms, similar to atomic/molecular spectra widely used in optical spectrometry. The experiment demonstrates a technique for element-resolved spectroscopy with simultaneous atomic-level spatial resolution. The influence of magnetic impurity concentration on the bound states has also been investigated.


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