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Tunnelling current amplifier, artwork

Tunnelling current amplifier, artwork

C017/3618

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Credit

MIKKEL JUUL JENSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MIKKEL JUUL JENSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Tunnelling current amplifier, computer artwork. Tunnelling current amplifiers are used in scanning tunnelling spectroscopy. This technique is used to provide information about the density of electrons in a sample, as a function of their energy, in order to obtain topographic maps of surfaces. A metal tip (red) is moved over a conducting sample (blue) without making mechanical contact. A bias voltage between the sample and tip allows a current to flow between the tip and the sample even though they are not in contact. This can occur because of quantum mechanical tunnelling, hence the name of the instrument.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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