Standard Article

Scanning Tunneling Microscopy

Scanning Probe Techniques

  1. Jeong Y. Park

Published Online: 18 MAY 2012

DOI: 10.1002/0471266965.com084.pub2

Characterization of Materials

Characterization of Materials

How to Cite

Park, J. Y. 2012. Scanning Tunneling Microscopy. Characterization of Materials. 1–10.

Author Information

  1. Graduate School of EEWS (WCU) and NanoCentury KI, KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology), Daejeon, Republic of Korea

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAY 2012


Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) is an instrument in which a sharp metallic probe raster scanned across the sample is employed to detect changes in surface structure on the atomic scale. STM enabled us to study surface structure, electronic structure, atomic manipulation, dynamics of molecules and atoms, and chemical properties of the surface at the atomic scale. During the last three decades, the field of scanning tunneling microscopy has advanced explosively. New experimental modes and theoretical models have been developed. In this chapter, the principle and practical aspects of the new methods associated with STM techniques are outlined. Variation of STM and scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS) and their principles and examples are also shown here. Data analysis, sample preparations, and problems of various STM experiments are introduced as well.


  • scanning tunneling microscopy (STM);
  • scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS);
  • conductance;
  • inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy (IETS);
  • surface structure;
  • tip;
  • atomic manipulation