Non-topographic current contrast in scanning field emission microscopy

G. Bertolini, O. Gürlü, R. Pröbsting, D. Westholm, J. Wei, U. Ramsperger, D. A. Zanin, H. Cabrera, D. Pescia*, J. P. Xanthakis, M. Schnedler, R. E. Dunin-Borkowski

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In scanning field emission microscopy (SFEM), a tip (the source) is approached to few (or a few tens of) nanometres distance from a surface (the collector) and biased to field-emit electrons. In a previous study (Zanin et al. 2016 Proc. R. Soc. A 472, 20160475. (doi:10.1098/rspa.2016.0475)), the field-emitted current was found to change by approximately 1% at a monatomic surface step (approx. 200 pm thick). Here we prepare surface domains of adjacent different materials that, in some instances, have a topographic contrast smaller than 15 pm. Nevertheless, we observe a contrast in the field-emitted current as high as 10%. This non-topographic collector material dependence is a yet unexplored degree of freedom calling for a new understanding of the quantum mechanical tunnelling barrier at the source site that takes into account the properties of the material at the collector site.

Orijinal dilİngilizce
Makale numarası5009064
DergiRoyal Society Open Science
Basın numarası7
Yayın durumuYayınlandı - Tem 2021
Harici olarak yayınlandıEvet

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors.


Data accessibility. The ad hoc software used to analyse the images is available at Zenodo: 3675444#.YOMsNn7TWUk [33]. All data required to support the conclusions of the presented research are contained in the included figures. Authors’ contributions. G.B., O.G. and R.P. did the experiments reported in figures 2, 3, 4b, 4d, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12. D.W, J.W. and U.R. did the experiments reported in figures 4a, 4c and 11. D.A.Z. and U.R. built the instruments used in this work. H.C. discussed the paper. M.S. did the simulations reported in figure 5. M.S., J.P.X. and R.E.D.-B. provided the theoretical input and discussed the paper. D.P. wrote the paper. Competing interests. We declare we have no competing interests. Funding. The research was partially funded by Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN), grant no. 606988 under FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF grant no. 20-134422) and the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI grant no. 9860.1 PFNM-NM). Acknowledgements. O.G. thanks M. Erbudak and E. Tosatti. D.P. thanks A. Kyritsakis and C. Walker for helpful discussions. D.P., G.B., J.W., D.W. and U.R. thank R. Forbes for helpful discussions.

FinansörlerFinansör numarası
Seventh Framework Programme606988
Marie CurieFP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN
Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung20-134422
Kommission für Technologie und Innovation9860.1 PFNM-NM

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