Imaging physical phenomena with local probes: From electrons to photons

D. A. Bonnell, D. N. Basov, M. Bode, U. Diebold, S. V. Kalinin, V, Madhavan, L. Novotny, M. Salmeron, U. D. Schwarz, P. S. Weiss

Nano/Bio Interface Center and Department of Materials Science and Engineering, The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, U.S.A.
Department of Physics, The University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093, U.S.A.
Experimental Physics University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
Institut für Angewandte Physik, Technische Universität Wien, 1040 Wien, Austria
Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, U.S.A.
Department of Physics, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts 02467, U.S.A.
The Institute of Optics, The University of Rochester, Rochester, New York 14627, U.S.A.
Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, U.S.A.
Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, U.S.A.
California NanoSystems Institute and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095, U.S.A.

Rev. Mod. Phys. 84 (2012) 1343-1381

The invention of scanning tunneling and atomic force probes revolutionized our understanding of surfaces by providing real-space information about the geometric and electronic structure of surfaces at atomic spatial resolution. However, the junction of a nanometer-sized probe tip and a surface contains much more information than is intrinsic to conventional tunneling and atomic force measurements. This review summarizes recent advances that push the limits of the probing function at nanometer-scale spatial resolution in the context of important scientific problems. Issues such as molecular interface contact, superconductivity, electron spin, plasmon field focusing, surface diffusion, bond vibration, and phase transformations are highlighted as examples in which local probes elucidate complex function. The major classes of local probes are considered, including those of electromagnetic properties, electron correlations, surface structure and chemistry, optical interactions, and electromechanical coupling.

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Reprints available from U. Diebold (diebold< encoded email address >).