DIY scanning tunnelling microscope

I caught this on the MAKE blog; the full article is at ChemHacker.

Sacha De'Angeli has announced the release of "version 0.1" (proof of concept) for a do-it-yourself scanning tunnelling microscope. If you already know what an STM is, my work here is done.

For the rest of you, a scanning tunnelling microscope moves a very fine ("single atom sharp") tip across a surface.Electrons can jump between the surface and tip, leading to a varying electric current which can be amplified and measured. How well the electrons can jump depends exponentially on the width of the gap. Near an atom is closer than between atoms, so by moving the tip in very small (nanometer) increments, you can image the atomic structure of the surface. With a less sharp tip, or coarser position control, you can still image surface structure, steps, defects, etc.

UPDATE: Instructables user Fabio M had posted a different STM project last December.


Picture of DIY scanning tunnelling microscope
There have been quite a few of these over the last couple of years - there was one German University selling an elegant kit for a couple of hundred bucks AFAIR that you could do real work with....if you are working in surface chemistry and L-B films.

What would you do to make it into an AFM ? That's an STM + a bendy beam with a point on it I think.

Steve
kelseymh (author) 6 years ago
I've added a link to a previous forum topic, from Fabio M, on another STM project.