Atom-by-atom extraction

Individual silver atoms are pulled out from a nanosized silver cluster on a Ag(111) surface at 6 K using a scanning tunneling microscope tip. Just by approaching the tip close to a protruding part of the cluster, the binding energy of the topmost cluster atom is greatly reduced. When the STM-tip laterally moves, the atom breaks the bond with the neighboring atoms within the cluster, and follows the tip trajectory. This process involves manipulation of atom along rough terrains of the 3-D cluster surface.
  Category: Nanomanufacturing
  Source: Ohio University/Hla Group