Picosecond Resolution in Scanning Tunneling Microscopy

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Science  12 Nov 1993:
Vol. 262, Issue 5136, pp. 1029-1032
DOI: 10.1126/science.262.5136.1029


A method has been developed for performing fast time-resolved experiments with a scanning tunneling microscope. The method uses the intrinsic nonlinearity in the microscope's current versus voltage characteristics to resolve optically generated transient signals on picosecond time scales. The ability to combine the spatial resolution of tunneling microscopy with the time resolution of ultrafast optics yields a powerful tool for the investigation of dynamic phenomena on the atomic scale.