Manipulating Atoms with an STM

By bringing the tip of an STM close to an adsorbed surface atom, the atom can be dragged
along and positioned to build atomic-scale artificial structures even smaller than the
CUNNF logo we saw on the previous page.

Dragging Atoms Along

Don Eigler and colleagues at IBM pioneered this new field, and have succeeded in writing IBM with Xenon atoms, making a switch that operates by toggeling a single atom, and in making ``quantum corrals'' in which they directly see the interference effects of electron waves.

We propose an experiment in which an atom tunnels between the tip and the surface. The ability to tune and calculate many parameters would lead to interesting tests of fundamental Quantum Mechanics, and a microscopic model of Schroedinger's Cat.


References to important work in manipulation of atoms with an STM:

Last modified: May 31, 1994

Ard Louis, ardlouis@lassp.cornell.edu