Materials Research Activities

B&R paper6 (Physica1984)

Paper 6 (Physica):

Reproduced from Physica B, Vol 127, Binnig et al, "Scanning tunneling microscopy", pp. 37-45, Copyright 1984, with permission from Elsevier Science.

Having submitted the previous paper in April of 1983, a pause followed of some 8 months. The next paper, published in Physica in early 1984, marks a change in the confidence with which Binnig and Rohrer presented their material. They claimed that scanning tunneling microscopy had matured from an art to a technique, and the theory from the experimentalist's wishful thinking to fundamental understanding. The tip does trace contours of constant wave-function overlap (the wavefunctions of tip and sample atoms), but the work function variations across the unit cell are small and so the corrugation that the STM reveals is an intrinsic property of the surface. In addition to this confident statement about the direct relation between STM graphs and surfaces, they had pinpointed the main problem of replication. The tip could change inadvertently. Having pinpointed the main problem they could work much more efficiently towards replicability. Why Physica? How trustworthy were the results indicating that work function variations are small across the unit cell? Worth discussing?


  • Introduction to Binnig & Rohrer's 1981-1986 publications

  • Paper 1 (Applied Physics Letters 1982)

  • Paper 2 (Physical Review Letters 1982)
  • Paper 3 (Surface Science 1982)
  • Paper 4 (Helvetica Physica Acta 1983)
  • Paper 5 (Surface Science Letters 1983)
  • Paper 6 (Physica 1984), you are here
  • Paper 7 (Surface Science 1984)
  • Paper 8 (Surface Science Letters 1985)
  • Paper 9 (Europhysics Letters 1986)
  • Paper10 (Scientific American 1986)
  • Interview with Binnig and Rohrer, to be featured soon - members may click here.

This page was last updated on 15 May 2001 by Arne Hessenbruch.