A Conversation for Make Yourself a Scanning Tunnelling Microscope

The problems IMHO

Post 1

Dr Hell

Making an STM is in fact 'easy' if you have access to a fairly well- equipped lab.

The problem is not the Microscope or the process per se - that's the easy part... In fact it's baffling easy - Before I actually saw an STM for the first time I thought it must be a huge piece of machinery with megavolt powersupply and all kinds of high-tech stuff attached... In fact it's a small (10cm) plexiglass cube with a small needle in it and an output to a PC. Works fine. Let's come to the real problem, why it's not 'easy' to have a 'home-made' STM:

The problem is (IMHO) the piezo-unit: Expensive & can't be made out of ordinary quartz chops one could buy in the store next door. THAT's the real problem. (Not a big techy one, but expensive anyway)

Also: Coating stuff with Silver is probably also not easy, so a 'home built' STM would 'only' see surfaces of metallic stuff.

It's amazingly easy anyway.



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The problems IMHO

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