Chapter 12 Identification of surface adsorbates by scanning tunneling microscope light emission spectra

Y. Uehara, S. Ushioda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In order to demonstrate that surface adsorbates can be identified by STM light emission spectra, we have measured the STM light emission spectra of various combinations of adsorbates and substrates. We presented the spectra of Cu(110)-O and Ni(110)-H. The adsorbate specific spectra have been found for both systems. When the tip is located over the O atom adsorbed on the Cu(110)surface, the three additional components due to the electronic transitions localized at the O site is superposed on the STM light emission spectra. Thus we can identify the O atom from the spectra. In the case of Ni(110)-H system, the vibrational energy of the H atom is determined form the spectra. Consequently, we can identify the H atom from the spectra. As mentioned in the introduction, surface vibrational energies are specific to each adsorbate. Hence classical surface vibrational spectroscopic methods such as EELS and infrared adsorption spectroscopy are convenient used for identification of adsorbates under macroscopic spatial resolution. The result for Ni(110)-H demonstrate that the vibrational energies of surface adsorbates can be determined by measuring the STM light emission spectra with the benefit of atomic spatial resolution. In this manner the STM light emission spectroscopy is avery unique and valuable tool for identification of surface adsorbates with atomic spatial resolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-201
Number of pages15
JournalHandai Nanophotonics
Issue numberC
Publication statusPublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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