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Scanning Tunneling Microscopy

Use a virtual scanning tunneling microscope to explore the quantum tunneling effect.

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Requirements

This activity requires the Java Runtime Environment version 5 (sometimes referred to as 1.5) or later with Java Webstart. You can download it at java.com.

Use a virtual scanning tunneling microscope (STM) to observe electron behavior in an atomic-scale world. Walk through the principles of this technology step-by-step. First learn how the STM works. Then try it yourself! Use a virtual STM to manipulate individual atoms by scanning for, picking up, and moving electrons. Finally, explore the advantages and disadvantages of the two modes of an STM: the constant-height mode and the constant-current mode.

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WARNING: Your data will not be saved. To save data, run this activity as a registered user. You can register at the project portal. Please view the requirements below before launching this activity.

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008)

3. The Nature of Technology

3A. Technology and Science
  • 3A/H1*. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that technological problems and advances often create a demand for new scientific knowledge, and new technologies make it possible for scientists to extend their research in new ways or to undertake entirely new lines of research. The very availability of new technology itself often sparks scientific advances.

4. The Physical Setting

4G. Forces of Nature
  • 4G/H4ab*. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that in many conducting materials, such as metals, some of the electrons are not firmly held by the nuclei of the atoms that make up the material. In these materials, applied electric forces can cause the electrons to move through the material, producing an electric current. In insulating materials, such as glass, the electrons are held more firmly, making it nearly impossible to produce an electric current in those materials.

11. Common Themes

11B. Models
  • 11B/M1*. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that models are often used to think about processes that happen too slowly, too quickly, or on too small a scale to observe directly. They are also used for processes that are too vast, too complex, or too dangerous to study.
  • 11B/M4** (BSL). By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that simulations are often useful in modeling events and processes.

Copyright
© Copyright The Concord Consortium

Record Link
<a href="stem-resources/scanning-tunneling-microscopy">The Concord Consortium. Scanning Tunneling Microscopy. Concord: The Concord Consortium, 2011, September 21.</a>

AIP
Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (The Concord Consortium, Concord, 2011, September 21), WWW Document, (http://concord.org/stem-resources/scanning-tunneling-microscopy).

AJP
Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (The Concord Consortium, Concord, 2011, September 21), WWW Document, (http://concord.org/stem-resources/scanning-tunneling-microscopy).

APA
Scanning Tunneling Microscopy. (2011, September 21). Retrieved 2014, November 26, from The Concord Consortium: http://concord.org/stem-resources/scanning-tunneling-microscopy

Disclaimer: The Concord Consortium offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure.

Requirements

This activity requires the Java Runtime Environment version 5 (sometimes referred to as 1.5) or later with Java Webstart. You can download it at java.com.

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Electron TechnologiesThis resource is a part of the Concord Consortium's Electron Technologies project.

Grade Level
High School, Higher Education
Subject
Physics
Focus Area
Modeling and Simulation
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