Predicted carbon-cluster field evaporation from graphite by pulsed-field STM

X. H. Wu, E. L. Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Field evaporation of carbon as positive and negative ions from the clean graphite (001) plane surface under STM pulsed-field conditions has been investigated. We use the charge-exchange model, taking the potential from a simple empirical atomic potential model. The removed carbon atom considered here initially resides in the perfect graphite surface, rather than being an adsorbed atom. Assuming a clean tungsten tip as counterelectrode, threshold electric fields for C-, C+, and C2+ have been obtained. We further consider the possibility of field evaporation of C clusters. Our calculations indicate that C atoms can field-evaporate as members of ionic clusters at much lower threshold fields than a single carbon atom can. We conclude that ionic carbon clusters are favored in field evaporation from graphite, based on lower threshold fields obtained in the charge-exchange model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-359
Number of pages7
JournalSurface Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 20 1996


  • Carbon clusters
  • Field evaporation
  • Graphite
  • Scanning tunneling microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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