Chemical bonds studied by atomic force microscopy with femtonewton sensitivity and intra-atomic contrast
CO terminated AFM tips have been shown to provide outstanding spatial resolution on organic molecules, metallic clusters and other samples. These tips are chemically inert and probe organic molecules mainly by Pauli repulsion. Thus, images reflect the total charge density of the samples in many cases. In other cases, such as Fe and Cu adatoms on Cu(111), the presence of the CO tip induces a hybridization that is strongly dependent on the tip position and results in a subatomic contrast that not only depends on the chemical identity but also on the coordination. AFM reaches a sensitivity corresponding to the gravitational force that two people at a distance of 2 km exert on each other.
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