scanning tunneling microscope

Scientific Image - Platinum Atoms

Platinum atoms are arranged in closely packed hexagonal layers. A top view of this hexagonal structure is shown in this scanning tunneling microscope image.

Platinum has applications in automotive engineering, chemical processing, jewelry, electronics, and wires and electrical contacts for use in corrosive or high-voltage environments. Platinum is also a component in magnetic coatings for high-density hard disc drives and new varieties of optical storage systems.

• SIZE: The size of a platinum atom is around 0.3 nm.

• IMAGING TOOL: Scanning tunneling microscope

Scientific Image - Quantum Corral (top view)

The corral is an artificial structure created from 48 iron atoms (the sharp peaks) on a copper surface. The wave patterns in this scanning tunneling microscope image are formed by copper electrons confined by the iron atoms.

Don Eigler and colleagues created this structure in 1993 by using the tip of a low-temperature scanning tunneling microscope (STM) to position iron atoms on a copper surface, creating an electron-trapping barrier. This was the first successful attempt at manipulating individual atoms and led to the development of new techniques for nanoscale construction.

Scientific Image - Quantum Corral (side view)

The corral is an artificial structure created from 48 iron atoms (the sharp peaks) on a copper surface. The wave patterns in this scanning tunneling microscope image are formed by copper electrons confined by the iron atoms. Don Eigler and colleagues created this structure in 1993 by using the tip of a low-temperature scanning tunneling microscope (STM) to position iron atoms on a copper surface, creating an electron-trapping barrier. This was the first successful attempt at manipulating individual atoms and led to the development of new techniques for nanoscale construction.

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