Takashi Kumagai, Shuyi Liu, Akitoshi Shiotari, Delroy Baugh, Shamil Shaikhutdinov, and Martin Wolf:
J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 28 (49), 494003 (2016), pp. 10;
Using combined low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy and Kelvin probe force microscopy we studied the local electronic structure and work function change of the (0 0 0 1)-oriented epitaxial ZnO layers on a Ag(1 1 1) substrate. Scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS) revealed that the conduction band minimum monotonically downshifts as the number of the ZnO layers increases up to 4 monolayers (ML). However, it was found by field emission resonance (FER) spectroscopy that the local work function of Ag(1 1 1) slightly decreases for 2 ML thick ZnO but it dramatically changes and drops by about 1.2 eV between 2 and 3 ML, suggesting a structural transformation of the ZnO layer. The spatial variation of the conduction band minimum and the local work function change were visualized at the nanometer scale by mapping the STS and FER intensities. Furthermore, we found that the ZnO layers contained line defects with a few tens of nm long, which can be removed by the injection of a tunneling electron into the conduction band.
The original publication is available by link DOI: 10.1088/0953-8984/28/49/494003