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A Prospective: Quantitative Scanning Tunneling Spectroscopy of Semiconductor Surfaces

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journal contribution
posted on 01.01.2009 by Randall Feenstra

Analysis methods that enable quantitative energies of states to be obtained from vacuum tunneling spectra of semiconductors are discussed. The analysis deals with the problem of tip-induced band bending in the semiconductor, which distorts the voltage-scale of the spectra so that it does not correspond directly to energy values. Three-dimensional electrostatic modeling is used to solve the electrostatics of the tip-vacuum-semiconductor system, and an approximate (semiclassical in the radial direction) solution for the wavefunctions is used to obtain the tunnel current. Various applications of the method to semiconductor surfaces and other material systems are discussed, and possible extensions of the method are considered.