Physical Review Letters

Low temperature scanning force microscopy of the si(111)-(7×7) surface

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A low temperature scanning force microscope (SFM) operating in a dynamic mode in ultrahigh vacuum was used to study the Si(111)- (7×7) surface at 7.2 K. Not only the twelve adatoms but also the six rest atoms of the unit cell are clearly resolved for the first time with SFM. In addition, the first measurements of the short range chemical bonding forces above specific atomic sites are presented. The data are in good agreement with first principles computations and indicate that the nearest atoms in the tip and sample relax significantly when the tip is within a few Å of the surface. © 2000 The American Physical Society.