Dan Berard builds a working STM (scanning tunneling microscope) with common inexpensive materials

  • Homemade STM microscope uses a quantum tunneling effect to produce magnified the images pixel by pixel
  • The microscope makes use of a tiny needle probe that gets atomically close to the subject and measures voltage changes across it
  • The apparent resolution of this device is even higher than a scanning electron microscope at 0.00000000039″ or 0.00000000001m

Dan’s incredibly complex invention works by making use  of relatively simple quantum tunneling concepts. At the core of the invention is a small piezoelectric buzzer that can be bought for under a dollar.

DIY home built scanning tunneling microscope microscope. Showing scans of gold on the right. Photos from Dan Berard

DIY home built scanning tunneling microscope microscope. Showing scans of gold on the right. Photos by Dan Berard

The piezo buzzer is used in conjunction with a tungsten needle to form the scan head. The needle measures voltage changes over the subject being scanned to reproduce a magnified image pixel by pixel. The whole apparatus is suspended in the air by magnetic levitation to reduce the effect of ground vibrations.

Piezoelectric buzzer and tungsten needle assembly. The needle was pulled while being cut to achieve a sharp point the size of an atom.

Piezoelectric buzzer and tungsten needle assembly. The needle was pulled while being cut to achieve a sharp point the size of an atom. Photos by Dan Berard

Here are some example schematics of Dan’s misropscope build:

DIY STM microscope circuit and preamp diagrams. Created by Dan Berard.

DIY STM microscope circuit and preamp diagrams. Created by Dan Berard

Watch this video explaining the concepts of how an STM microscope works:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bo2Zq0Wsog4

For detailed information on how to build one of these yourself, please visit Dan Berard’s website here: https://dberard.com/home-built-stm/scan-head/

 

 

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