We have investigated the scanning tunneling microscope (STM) light emission spectra of isolated single Ag nanoparticles lying on highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG). The STM light emission spectra exhibited two types of spectral structures (step-like and periodic). Comparisons of the observed structures and theoretical predictions indicate that the phonon energy of the ZO mode of HOPG [M. Mohr et al., Phys. Rev. B 76, 035439 (2007)] can be determined from the energy difference between the cutoff of STM light emission and the step in the former structure, and from the period of the latter structure. Since the role of the Ag nanoparticles does not depend on the substrate materials, this method will enable the phonon energies of various materials to be measured by STM light emission spectroscopy. The spatial resolution is comparable to the lateral size of the individual Ag nanoparticles (that is, a few nm).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)