Metals and conduction electrons

The study of electrons moving in a charge compensating background of positively charged ions is central in the understanding of solids. We shall restrict ourselves to the study of simple metals, but the results obtained are important for understanding of the scanning tunnel microscope (STM) and the atomic force microscope (AFM). Any atom in a metal consists of three parts the positively charged heavy nucleus at the center, the light cloud of the many negatively charged core electrons tightly...

Atomic force microscopy AFM

The atomic force microscope (AFM) is one of the many recently developed types of nanometer-resolution microscopes or scanning probe microscopes (SPM). The AFM has a much wider range of applicability than the other SPMs it can be used to observe and manipulate nanometer-sized objects of both conductive and insulating nature in both vacuum, air, gasseous, and liquid environments. The following sections provide a more detailed treatment of the physcical principles behind the AFM. A sketch of the...

Scanning Tunneling Microscopy STM

Although treated first in these lecture notes, the AFM was actually preceded by the scanning tunneling microscope (STM). Invented in 1981 the STM was the first of many scanning probe microscopes (SPM). In 1986 the inventors Gert Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer from the IBM Research Laboratory in Riischlikon (Switzerland), were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. Nowadays, SPMs can be found in many academic and industrial physics, chemistry and biology laboratories, and as we have already seen, they...

Atomic orbitals and carbon nanotubes

In this chapter we shall study atomic orbitals. These are the basis for the formation of chemical bonds, i.e., for the formation of molecules and solids. Thanks to the modern nano-technological tools the atomic orbitals are no longer merely a mathematical abstraction, but something very real that can be observed directly. We begin with a short introduction to hydrogen-like atoms, and then move on to carbon atoms, graphene sheets, and finally the carbon nanotube molecules. 4.1 The Schrodinger...