Low Temperature Physics: 36, 849 (2010); https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3514417 (16 pages)
Физика Низких Температур: Том 36, Выпуск 10-11 (Октябрь 2010), c. 1066-1084    ( к оглавлению , назад )

Theory of oscillations in the STM conductance resulting from subsurface defects (Review Article)

Ye.S. Avotina and Yu.A. Kolesnichenko

B. Verkin Institute for Low Temperature Physics and Engineering of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine 47 Lenin Ave., Kharkov 61103, Ukraine
E-mail: kolesnichenko@ilt.kharkov.ua

J.M. van Ruitenbeek

Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratorium, Universiteit Leiden, Postbus 9504, 2300 Leiden, The Netherlands

Received April 20, 2010


In this review we present recent theoretical results concerning investigations of single subsurface defects by means of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM). These investigations are based on the effect of quantum interference between the electron partial waves that are directly transmitted through the contact and the partial waves scattered by the defect. In particular, we have shown the possibility imaging the defect position below a metal surface by means of STM. Different types of subsurface defects have been discussed: point-like magnetic and nonmagnetic defects, magnetic clusters in a nonmagnetic host metal, and nonmagnetic defects in a s-wave superconductor. The effect of Fermi surface anisotropy has been analyzed. Also, results of investigations of the effect of a strong magnetic field to the STM conductance of a tunnel point contact in the presence of a single defect has been presented.

PACS: 61.72.J– Point defects and the defect clusters;
PACS: 73.40.Cg Contact resistance, contact potential;
PACS: 73.63.Rt Nanoscale contact;
PACS: 74.55.+v Tunneling phenomena: single particle tunneling and STM;
PACS: 73.23.–b Electronic transport in mesoscopic systems;
PACS: 72.10.Fk Scattering by point defects, dislocations, surfaces, and other imperfections (including Kondo effect).

Key words: STM, electron tunneling, subsurface defect, conductance, Friedel oscillations.