2008 Student Research Conference:
21st Annual Student Research Conference

Design and Construction of a Low Cost, High Performance Scanning Tunneling Microscope
Eric A. Dieckman
Dr. Mohammad Samiullah, Faculty Mentor

The phenomena of quantum tunneling, in which electrons can penetrate into classically forbidden regions of space, has been known for nearly a century. This phenomena was utilized in the early 1980s to create a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) (Binning et al. 1982) to view surfaces at the atomic level. The STM was soon adapted for operation in air, which coupled with better vibration isolation systems and the rising accessibility of computers to control the STM, made it possible to design and construct low cost, high precision STM systems. However, many of these low cost systems still require a good deal of knowledge of the actual design of the STM in order to successfully image a surface. We are striving to build a low cost, high performance STM system that can be operated by a student with minimal knowledge of the apparatus to study surfaces at the atomic level.

Keywords: Scanning Tunneling Microscope, Microscopy, Surface Studies

Topic(s):Physics

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 24-2
Location: VH 1416
Time: 10:00

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