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Atomic-Scale Spin-Polarized Scanning Tunneling Microscopy and Atomic Force Microscopy: A Review

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Atomic-scale spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy is a powerful real-space technique for investigating the magnetic structure of surfaces. With its intrinsic lateral resolution capability, this technique can achieve atomic-scale resolved spin resolution of surfaces. Antiferromagnets, in particular, offer opportunities to test the spatial resolution of magnetism at ultimate length scales, where the magnetization reverses on the scale of one atomic spacing. In addition, the technique has been applied with very interesting results to the case of ferromagnetic surfaces. Reviewed here are the various contemporary experimental results, including a discussion of the theoretical basis for atomic-scale magnetic imaging. Theoretical calculations to simulate the magnetic STM images are also discussed, including those calculations which take into account the tip electronic structure.


Document Type: Review Article


Publication date: 2006-06-01

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  • Scanning probe microscopy (SPM) typically covers atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM, or SNOM) and related technologies. Since its invention in early 1980s, SPM has now been regarded as one of the major driving forces for the rapid development of nanoscience and nanotechnology, and the tool of choice in many areas of research. Journal of Scanning Probe Microscopy (JSPM) provides a forum for rapid dissemination of important developments in SPM technology. JSPM offers scientists, engineers and developers timely, peer-reviewed research on SPM science and technology of the highest quality. JSPM publishes original rapid communications, full research papers and timely state-of-the-art reviews (with author's photo and biography) encompassing the fundamental and applied research on SPM in all fields of science, engineering, and medicine.
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