Institut de Chimie Moléculaire et des Matériaux d'Orsay

Scanning Tunneling and Atomic force Microscopies


Jean-Claude POULIN

Build.: 420

Tel.: 01 69 15 76 51

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What you get:

Surface observation, digital topographic and electronic imaging, bonding information, friction or hardness of the surface (imaging or spectroscopy).


A tip comes into contact or close to the surface to explore. in AFM: mechanical interaction tip-surface (permanent or intermittent contact), in STM: tip and sample are electrically conductive and provide images through the tunnel current flowing between them.


Various materials can be studied by AFM, for STM sample must be conductive or deposited on a perfectly flat conductor. Operation at atmospheric pressure, can control the environment (liquid, gas, temperature). The observed surface must be flat, of reasonable size.

Who to use it: A large attention to details is necessary, initiation possible for regular use.


Low current STM (from pA to nA), variable temperature (-5 to 40°C and room temp. to 200°C), liquid cells, environmental chamber. Maximum area observed: 10μm aside in STM, 6μm aside in AFM using intermittent contact mode, 20μm aside in contact AFM.