Scanning probe energy loss spectroscopy

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Colleges, School and Institutes


This article gives a status report on the new technique of scanning probe energy loss spectroscopy (SPELS). which can be viewed as a hybrid between scanning tunnelling microscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy. The technique provides local energy loss spectra from solid surfaces (at room temperature) with an expected spatial resolution of 1-10 nm and a current best energy resolution of 0.6 eV. Spectra are presented from the graphite and Si(I 1 l)-7 x 7 surfaces as well as metallic (silver and gold) thin films. which enables the chemical analysis capabilities of the technique to be demonstrated. New, and future developments are also discussed, including the demonstration of SPELS with screened tips and the prospects for spectral measurements with energy resolution in the vibrational regime. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-231
Number of pages8
JournalSurface Science
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2002


  • graphite, scanning tunneling microscopy, silver, electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS), gold, silicon