Scanning tunneling potentiometry studies of Y1Ba2Cu3O7_xand gold thin films

A. D. Kent, I. Maggio-Aprile, Ph Niedermann, Ch Renner, O. Fischer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We have used a scanning tunneling microscope to study the local electrostatic potential distribution and topography of thin films of gold at room temperature and high-Tc superconducting thin films at low temperature in the presence of a transport current. On continuous gold thin films (85 A thick), high resolution scans often show abrupt changes in the potential, which are clearly associated with topographic features. On a relatively large scale (1 µm), a more uniform potential drop is observed but locally these scans also reveal small steps in the potential. These steps may be a characteristic property of transport in these thin polycrystalline films or, alternatively, could be artifacts due to discontinuous changes in the tunneling position on the sample during scanning. On high-Tcsuperconducting thin films, a thin gold overlayer permits potentiometry studies at low temperature. The first low-temperature potentiometry studies show a clear change in behavior at the normal-superconductor transition.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)459-463
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 1990

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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