Nanoscale indentation on Si(111) surfaces with scanning tunneling microscope

Ryu Hasunuma, Tadahiro Komeda, Hiroshi Tokumoto

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6 Citations (Scopus)


We have investigated the mechanism of Si atom removal by measuring the current during formation of a point contact between the W tip of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) and the Si(111)-T x 7 surface. The stepwise drops observed in the current during tip retraction may be attributed to the reduction of the contact area in an atom-by-atom manner. Based on the estimation of the contact size, it was concluded that the adatoms were removed by chemical adhesion of the Si atoms with the W tip. The chemical adhesion was assisted by the mechanical force applied to the Si surface, contact potential and current induced local heating. A trilayer was removed by field evaporation with the assistance of electromigration on the Si surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3827-3831
Number of pages5
JournalJapanese Journal of Applied Physics
Issue number6 SUPPL. B
Publication statusPublished - 1997 Jun


  • Chemical adhesion
  • Field evaporation
  • Indentation
  • Point contact
  • Si(111)
  • STM


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