Preparation of superconducting niobium tips for atomic-resolution scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy

Ryota Shimizu, Taro Hitosugi, Tomihiro Hashizume, Noritaka Fukuo, Tetsuya Hasegawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


We present a new reliable method to prepare superconducting niobium (Nb) tips for scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy (STM/STS). Sharp Nb tips were fabricated by chemical etching using an electrolyte based on a hydrofluoric acid and hydrogen peroxide solution, followed by field evaporation utilizing field ion microscopy to remove Nb oxide layers from the tip apex. STM/STS measurements of Si(111) and Au(111) surfaces confirmed that the tips had atomic resolution capability together with bulk-like superconducting properties, indicating that the prepared Nb tips can be used as a unique probe for investigating local superconducting and magnetic properties on an atomic scale.

Original languageEnglish
Article number028004
JournalJapanese journal of applied physics
Issue number2 Part 1
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Feb
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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