The 1988 PITTSBURGH CONFERENCE ON ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY AND
APPLIED SPECTROSCOPY ("PITTCON")
Seeing Atoms: Building, Buying and Using Scanning Tunneling
Seeing Atoms: Building. Buying and Using Scanning Tunneling
Arranged by: Bernard J. Bulkin and Donald A. Chernoff, Standard Oil Research
The scanning tunneling microscope (STM) is one of the
most dramatic innovations in analytical instrumentation of this decade.
For the first time, atomic level resolution is possible. even for relatively
light atoms such as carbon. Moreover, unlike electron microscopes. the
scanning tunneling microscope does not need to operate in high vacuum.
The possibility of studying atoms on surfaces under real world atmospheres
is thus opened up, offering great potential for such fields as catalysis.
Beyond this, published work has already shown that the STM can even be
operated on electrode surfaces under aqueous solutions. Thus the full range
of chemical environments for surfaces is now available. or potentially
available, for atomic level spatial resolution. The STM inventors shared
the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1986.
This symposium will deal with both a review of STM principles
as well as with applications. Beyond this, the symposium will present some
of the latest research results on aspects of tunneling microscopy. These
results will show how the technique is being applied in industry and universities,
as well as indicate the potential of STM as a spectroscopic technique.
In the opening paper, Donald Chernoff of Standard Oil
will review the background of STM. show some of the initial applications
in industry, and present results from selected applications at Standard
Oil. This paper will provide necessary background for those who may not
be familiar with the technique. ["Principles of Scanning Tunneling
Microscopy and Selected Applications at BP America (Standard Oil)"]
Robert Hamers of IBM will then describe results of studying
the spectroscopy of individual atoms on surfaces using the STM. This is
made possible because there are different modes in which the microscope
can be run. yielding either topographic or spectroscopic information. ["Spectroscopy
of Individual Atoms with the Scanning Tunneling Microscope"]
Stuart Lindsay of Arizona State will describe results
on biopolymers in aqueous environments. As mentioned earlier. the ability
to image films in aqueous environments is a major advantage of the STM.
This opens up many molecular level studies of areas such as biopolymer
membranes. ["Scanning Tunneling Microscopy of Biopolymers in the Aqueous
The atomic force microscope is another variant of the
STM. Othmar Marti of the University of California - Santa Barbara will
describe this development. which many feel is an important direction for
the instrumentation. ["Probing Surfaces with the Atomic Force Microscope"]
Finally, Virgil Elings of the University of California
- Santa Barbara and Digital Instruments Company will discuss the availability
and design considerations in commercial instruments. While most of the
initial STM's were homemade, commercial instruments have begun to appear.
They vary widely in design. capability. and price. ["New Directions
in Commercial Scanning Tunneling Microscopes"]
The STM represents a major breakthrough in chemical and
materials science instrumentation. Its impact will be both deep and wide.
extending to polymers, biological systems. ceramics, catalysts, and electronic
devices. As the technique develops into both surface imaging and surface
spectroscopy, it is sure to impact many areas of the instrument business
as well. This symposium. including as it does speakers at the forefront
of developments in both instrumentation and applications. should be of
interest to a broad spectrum of Pittsburgh Conference attendees.
Update: Where are they now (1998)?
Bernie Bulkin is the Chair of the UK Office for Renewable Energy Deployment, the office tasked with the responsibility of ensuring UK compliance with renewable energy targets.
(See a 48
He is a senior advisor at
Vantage Point Capital Partners.
Don Chernoff is with Advanced Surface Microscopy
in Indianapolis, IN
Robert Hamers is Arthur Adamson Professor of Chemistry at University of Wisconsin.
Othmar Marti is a Professor in the Institute for Experimental Physics at University of Ulm, Germany.
Virgil Elings owns the Solvang Vintage Motorcycle