Highlight: STM banopatterning on pristine Nb-doped SrTiO3 surfaces

November 4, 2009
The surface morphology of modified Nb:STO surfaces. By using different electric pulse conditions, holes of different sizes and depths are created on a ~500-nm atomic-flat terrace. The sizes of the holes are ~10 to ~20 nm.

Collaborative users from the Advanced Photon Source at the Argonne National Laboratory, working with the Electronic & Magnetic Materials & Devices Group, have found a controllable way to modify the surfaces of pristine Nb-doped SrTiO3 (Nb:STO) at the nanoscale.

For decades, most of the work on noncleavable STO focused on heavily treated surfaces (chemical etching, sputtering/annealing).

This is the first (STM) work on how the tip can interact with pristine Nb:STO surfaces created by in situ fracturing. By fracturing Nb:STO at ~50 K, ~500-nm atomically flat TiO2 terraces with a random covering of SrO molecules are attained.

Using a pulsed sample-tip bias, the SrO clusters can be removed and redeposited reversibly from surface to STM tip.

This work demonstrates the interaction between the STM tip and oxide surfaces, and it offers a pathway to creating nanoscale objects on single-crystal oxide surfaces.

More information: T. Chien, T. Santos, M. Bode, N. Guisinger, J. Freeland, Appl. Phys. Lett. 95, 163107 (2009).

Explore further: Researchers control chemical reactions one molecule at a time

Related Stories

Researchers control chemical reactions one molecule at a time

December 14, 2004

Scientists at the University of California, Riverside showed that L. P. Hammett’s 1937 prediction of the strength of different acids is directly transferable to the activation of individual molecules on metal surfaces using ...

Experiments Prove Existence of Atomic Chain Anchors

February 3, 2005

Atoms at the ends of self-assembled atomic chains act like anchors with lower energy levels than the “links” in the chain, according to new measurements by physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology ...

Highlight: Nanoscale piezoresponse of ferroelectric domains

October 20, 2009

The first fundamental studies of the dependence of ferroelectric domain configuration and switching behavior on the shape of epitaxial BiFeO3 (BFO) nanostructures has been reported by users from Northwestern University, Korea ...

Recommended for you

Physicists develop new technique to fathom 'smart' materials

November 26, 2015

Physicists from the FOM Foundation and Leiden University have found a way to better understand the properties of manmade 'smart' materials. Their method reveals how stacked layers in such a material work together to bring ...

Mathematicians identify limits to heat flow at the nanoscale

November 24, 2015

How much heat can two bodies exchange without touching? For over a century, scientists have been able to answer this question for virtually any pair of objects in the macroscopic world, from the rate at which a campfire can ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.