Cleaved thin-film probes for scanning tunneling microscopy

T. Siahaan, O. Kurnosikov, B. Barcones Campo, H.J.M. Swagten, B. Koopmans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


We introduce an alternative type of probe for scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). Instead of using a needle-like tip made from a piece of metallic wire, a sharp-edged cleaved insulating substrate, which is initially covered by a thin conductive film, is used. The sharp tip is formed at the intersection of the two cleaved sides. Using this approach a variety of materials for STM probes can be used, and functionalization of STM probes is possible. The working principle of different probes made of metallic (Pt, Co, and CoB), indium-tin oxide, as well as Cu/Pt and Co/Pt multilayer films are demonstrated by STM imaging of clean Cu(001) and Cu(111) surfaces as well as the epitaxial Co clusters on Cu(111).
Original languageEnglish
Article number03LT01
Pages (from-to)1-6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2016


  • scanning tunneling microscopy
  • stm probes
  • probes fabrication
  • probes functionalization


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