Using a simple computer simulation for AFM imaging in the contact mode, pictures with true and false atomic resolution are demonstrated. The surface probed consists of two f.c.c. (111) planes and an atomic vacancy is introduced in the upper layer. Changing the size of the effective tip and its registry with respect to the atoms of the crystal probed, images with completely different qualitative features are obtained. If the effective tip is a single atom the vacancy is clearly imaged. However, if the tip consists of several atoms and is in registry with the sample, a virtual atom appears instead of the vacancy and the crystal lattice is perfectly reproduced. If the tip is out of registry with respect to the sample, artifacts having the size of the effective tip are reported.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)