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).
- scanning tunneling microscopy
- stm probes
- probes fabrication
- probes functionalization