New directions in point-contact spectroscopy based on scanning tunneling microscopy techniques (Review Article)

Tartaglini, E.; Verhagen, T. G. A.; Galli, F.; Trouwborst, M. L.; Müller, R.; Shiota, T.; Aarts, J.; van Ruitenbeek, J. M.
March 2013
Low Temperature Physics;Mar2013, Vol. 39 Issue 3, p189
Academic Journal
Igor Yanson showed 38 yr ago for the first time a point-contact measurement where he probed the energy resolved spectroscopy of the electronic scattering inside the metal. Since this first measurement, the point contact spectroscopy (PCS) technique improved enormously. The application of the scanning probe microscopy (SPM) techniques in the late 1980 s allowed achieving contacts with a diameter of a single atom. With the introduction of the mechanically controlled break junction technique, even spectroscopy on freely suspended chains of atoms could be performed. In this paper, we briefly review the current developments of PCS and show recent experiments in advanced scanning PCS based on SPM techniques. We describe some results obtained with both needle-anvil type of point contacts and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). We also show our first attempt to lift up with a STM a chain of single gold atoms from a Au(110) surface.


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