Local thickness determination of thin insulator films via localized states

Copyright © (2014) American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics

We propose measuring the lifetime of localized states below the conduction band to determine the local thickness of thin insulating films using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). The lifetime, which is a characteristic fingerprint of the film thickness, is inversely proportional to the saturation value of the tunnel current through the localized state at close tip–sample separation and is readily measured using scanning tunneling spectroscopy. We demonstrate the method for 5–11 monolayer thick NaCl films grown on Cu(111).

By: W. Steurer, L. Gross, and G. Meyer

Published in: Applied Physics Letters, volume 104, (no ), pages 231606 in 2014


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