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Journal Article

Reduction by ion-milling of surface corrugation of thin amorphous carbon films for biological specimen substrates in scanning tunneling microscopy

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Citation

Hillebrand, A., Scheybani, T., Wiegrabe, W., & Guckenberger, R. (1992). Reduction by ion-milling of surface corrugation of thin amorphous carbon films for biological specimen substrates in scanning tunneling microscopy. Ultramicroscopy, 42(44), 1255-1259.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-740D-1
Abstract
A method is described for reducing the surface corrugation of amorphous carbon films prepared on glass or mica by electron beam evaporation. Normally, a film with a thickness of 10 nm exhibits a peak-to-valley corrugation of about 1.5 nm within an area of 200 nm/sup 2/ in STM measurements. After rotary ion-milling of the film surface in vacuum by an argon beam at low angle of incidence, the corrugation measured by STM is reduced to a value of 0.8 to 1 nm on an area of the same size. Such films were tested as substrates for metal-coated type-I collagen, a filamentous biomolecule only 1.4 nm in diameter. In STM images this molecule was much easier to identify on ion-milled substrates than it was on standard carbon or platinum-carbon film substrates. (11 References).