STM imaging of electrically floating islands

H. Realpe, N. Shamir, M. H. Mintz, Y. Manassen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Appearances and disappearances of Gd islands grown on top of a W(1 1 0) substrate were observed in time scales of hours after exposing the surface to a few Langmuirs of hydrogen. The phenomenon is presented and explained in terms of (temporary) creation of electrically floating islands, due to electrical decoupling of the island and substrate by the hydrogen that diffuses into the island/substrate interface. The disappearance of such an island is explained by forming a double barrier junction consisting of two tunneling barriers in series, causing, by charging, the potential of the island to become equal to that of the tip. The island then becomes "invisible" and the tip follows the corrugation of the surface under the substrate. The reappearance follows hydrogen mobility that retains the electrical conductivity of the island-substrate interface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2795-2799
Number of pages5
JournalSurface Science
Issue number13
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2006


  • Hydrides
  • Hydrogen
  • Interface dipole
  • Lanthanides
  • Scanning tunneling microscopy
  • Surface electronic phenomena

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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