Field and temperature induced effects in the surface modification process
SourceJournal of Applied Physics, 96, 11, (2004), pp. 6169-6174
Article / Letter to editor
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Scanning Probe Microscopy
Journal of Applied Physics
SubjectScanning Probe Microscopy
We used the mechanically controllable break junction technique to discriminate between the electric field and temperature effects in the process of surface modification. The electric field strength at the surface of electrodes was accurately determined using the field emission resonance spectra and was gradually raised to the point where surface modification starts. We found that only a limited number of metals with large values of the work function, greater than or similar to4.5-5 eV, and evaporation fields, less than or similar to1.5-2 V/Angstrom, can be modified in this way. Adsorption of He on the surface drastically increases the local work function of material and enables the field induced nanostructuring of the electrode surface practically for all metals. (C) 2004 American Institute of Physics.
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