Scanning tunneling microscope observations of the Coulomb blockade

Z. Y. Rong, L. F. Cohen, E. L. Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The smooth Coulomb blockade (CB) I-V curve is sometimes observed in cryogenic scanning tunneling microscopy using a voltage biased tip to scan a metal film. Our experiments always give some evidence of the Coulomb staircase, characteristic of two tunnel capacitors in series (STM tip, small particle, and substrate) accompanying the smooth CB I-V curves. We suggest that a small (100 Å) particle occasionally encountered between tip and surface, providing a capacitance of order 10-18 F unaffected by voltage biased leads, is the origin of both effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-285
Number of pages5
JournalPhysics Letters A
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 28 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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