Atomic-scale desorption through electronic and vibrational excitation mechanisms

T. C. Shen, C. Wang, G. C. Abeln, J. R. Tucker, J. W. Lyding, Ph Avouris, R. E. Walkup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The scanning tunneling microscope has been used to desorb hydrogen from hydrogen-terminated silicon (100) surfaces. As a result of control of the dose of incident electrons, a countable number of desorption sites can be created and the yield and cross section are thereby obtained. Two distinct desorption mechanisms are observed: (i) direct electronic excitation of the Si-H bond by field-emitted electrons and (ii) an atomic resolution mechanism that involves multiple-vibrational excitation by tunneling electrons at low applied voltages. This vibrational heating effect offers significant potential for controlling surface reactions involving adsorbed individual atoms and molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1590-1592
Number of pages3
Issue number5217
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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