What is scanning tunneling microscopy? How does it work?

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asked May 11, 2012 in General Chemistry by Gummmys ~Expert~ (1,105 points)

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STM is a technique used to image (and move) individual atoms and molecules.  This technique was invented by Gerd Binning and Heinrich Rohrer in 1981.

The microscope works by movin a sharp electrode over a surface and measuring the tunneling current.  And since this current is really sensistive to distance, it can be used to maintain a precise separation of two atomic diameters between and surface.
answered May 11, 2012 by kirby ~Expert~ (3,020 points)
selected May 11, 2012 by Gummmys