Europhys. Lett.
Volume 48, Number 3, November 1999
Page(s) 276 - 279
Section Condensed matter: structure, mechanical and thermal properties
Published online 01 September 2002
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i1999-00477-3

Europhys. Lett, 48 (3), pp. 276-279 (1999)

Dynamic scanning force microscopy at low temperatures on a noble-gas crystal: Atomic resolution on the xenon(111) surface

W. Allers, A. Schwarz, U. D. Schwarz and R. Wiesendanger

Institute of Applied Physics and Microstructure Research Center, University of Hamburg
Jungiusstr. 11, D-20355 Hamburg, Germany

(received 4 February 1999; accepted in final form 3 September 1999)

PACS. 61.16Ch - Scanning probe microscopy: scanning tunneling, atomic force, scanning optical, magnetic force, etc.
PACS. 68.35Bs - Surface structure and topography.
PACS. 61.66Bi - Elemental solids.


The (111) surface of a xenon thin film as well as of the graphite substrate have been studied on the atomic-scale using dynamic scanning force microscopy. The extremely stable conditions required for the successful imaging of the insulating and weakly bound noble-gas crystal were realised by operating the microscope at low temperatures in ultrahigh vacuum. This achievement enables detailed investigations of a class of materials which has up to now been inaccessible to microscopical methods providing atomic resolution and gives a clear proof for the possibility to gain atomic resolution images in dynamic scanning force microscopy on weakly interacting, vulnerable surfaces.


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