Safe fabrication of sharp gold tips for light emission in scanning tunnelling microscopy

M.G. Boyle, Lei Feng, Paul Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Gold is the optimal tip metal for light emission in scanning tunnelling microscopy (LESTM) under ambient conditions. Sharp Au-tips of similar to 10nm radius were produced reliably using a safe, two-step etching method in 20% (w/w) CaCl2 solution. Previous CaCl2-based methods have tended to produce blunter tips, while other etching techniques that do produce sharp Au-tips, do so with the use of toxic or hazardous electrolytes. The tips are characterised using scanning electron microscopy and their efficacy in LESTM is evidenced by high-resolution, simultaneous topographic and photon mapping of Au(1 1 1)- and polycrystalline Au-surfaces. Spectra of the optical emission exhibit only one or two peaks with etched tips in contrast to the more complex spectra typical of cut tips; this feature, together with the highly symmetric geometry of the tips, facilitates a definitive analysis of the light emission process. (c) 2007 Elsevier B. V.. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)558-566
Number of pages9
JournalUltramicroscopy
Volume108
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2008

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Light emission
Scanning tunneling microscopy
Gold
light emission
scanning tunneling microscopy
gold
Fabrication
fabrication
Etching
Poisons
Electrolytes
Photons
Scanning electron microscopy
Geometry
etching
Metals
electrolytes
scanning electron microscopy
radii
high resolution

Cite this

Boyle, M.G. ; Feng, Lei ; Dawson, Paul. / Safe fabrication of sharp gold tips for light emission in scanning tunnelling microscopy. In: Ultramicroscopy. 2008 ; Vol. 108, No. 6. pp. 558-566.
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Safe fabrication of sharp gold tips for light emission in scanning tunnelling microscopy. / Boyle, M.G.; Feng, Lei; Dawson, Paul.

In: Ultramicroscopy, Vol. 108, No. 6, 05.2008, p. 558-566.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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