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Rev Sci Instrum. 2011 May;82(5):053705. doi: 10.1063/1.3585200.

Atomic resolution ultrafast scanning tunneling microscope with scan rate breaking the resonant frequency of a quartz tuning fork resonator.

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High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Chinese Academy of Sciences and University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230026, People's Republic of China.


We present an ultra-fast scanning tunneling microscope with atomic resolution at 26 kHz scan rate which surpasses the resonant frequency of the quartz tuning fork resonator used as the fast scan actuator. The main improvements employed in achieving this new record are (1) fully low voltage design (2) independent scan control and data acquisition, where the tuning fork (carrying a tip) is blindly driven to scan by a function generator with the scan voltage and tunneling current (I(T)) being measured as image data (this is unlike the traditional point-by-point move and measure method where data acquisition and scan control are switched many times).


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