Landolt-Börnstein - Group III Condensed Matter Microscopy


This chapter discusses microscopy methods for studying structural defects at surfaces. The most popular technique with atomic resolution is now the scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). The other important microscope with atomic resolution is the Transmission Electron Microscope in imaging mode (TEM) or in scanning mode (STEM). The first method with atomic resolution has been the Field Ion Microscopy (FIM). Due to its restriction to sharp tips and high fields it is used only for special investigations like movement and pair correlation of adatoms. More techniques are available for lower resolution. The electron microscopes provide a contrast for defects due to interference effects by using the appropriate scattering vector or by using the appropriate beams for imaging (dark field). The Low Energy Electron Microscope (LEEM) with a resolution down to less than 15 nm clearly reveals steps, domain boundaries and also distorted regions even at high temperatures and in real time. In a photoemission mode (Photo Emission Electron Microscope (PEEM)) with a resolution in the range of 50 to 100 nm it is used more for adsorbates. The usual electron microscope develops a high surface sensitivity if it is used in a reflection mode (Reflection Electron Microscope (REM)). The Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and the Scanning Auger Microscope (SAM) with resolutions down to 10 nm may be very useful scale, if the defects provide sufficient contrast after decoration with clusters of a different material. Even an optical microscope with contrast due to polarization effects may resolve atomic steps (Nomarski microscope).

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Title Microscopy
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In Methods of investigation
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Landolt-Börnstein - Group III Condensed Matter
  • G. Chiarotti
  • Authors
  • H. Henzler
  • W. Ranke
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