Standard Article

Magnetic Sensitive Scanning Tunneling Microscopy

Scanning Probe Techniques

  1. Kirsten von Bergmann,
  2. André Kubetzka

Published Online: 12 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/0471266965.com149

Characterization of Materials

Characterization of Materials

How to Cite

von Bergmann, K. and Kubetzka, A. 2012. Magnetic Sensitive Scanning Tunneling Microscopy. Characterization of Materials. 1–10.

Author Information

  1. Institute of Applied Physics, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 12 OCT 2012


The scanning tunneling microscope is capable of studying magnetism at surfaces down to the atomic scale. Using spin-polarized tips even complex magnetic ground states of surfaces and nanostructures can be revealed. The technique of spinpolarized scanning tunneling microscopy can also be applied to study the switching of individual (super)paramagnetic objects as a function of temperature or magnetic field and recently it has been shown that the magnetic state of nanoscale objects can also be manipulated. In addition one can study magnetic excitations by employing spin excitation spectroscopy and thereby deduce the spin, the anisotropy, the type and strength of magnetic coupling and even relaxation times of single atoms or small clusters. Combining these techniques with atom manipulation provides access to fundamental magnetic phenomena on the atomic scale.


  • magnetism;
  • scanning tunneling microscopy;
  • scanning tunneling spectroscopy;
  • spin-polarized tips;
  • tunneling magnetoresistance;
  • atomic manipulation;
  • surface science