Laser absorption scanning tunneling microscopy of carbon nanotubes

Joshua B. Ballard, Erin S. Carmichael, Dongxia Shi, Joseph W. Lyding, Martin Gruebele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report single molecule laser absorption by carbon nanotubes stamped under ultrahigh vacuum onto Si(100)2×1:H surfaces. Absorption is detected by scanning tunneling microscopy. Images are obtained with and without modulated laser excitation using lock-in amplification and a rear-illumination geometry to reduce thermal effects. Noise appears at topographic edges and is analyzed by a quantitative model in terms of scan speed, mechanical instabilities, and feedback current fluctuations at the edge of the nanotubes. Noise due to mechanical instabilities is shown to persist even in the limit of slow scan speed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-49
Number of pages5
JournalNano letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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