Lightwave-driven scanning tunneling spectroscopy of atomically precise graphene nanoribbons

A schematic representing a microscopy measurement where a pulse of laser light (red curve) illuminates an atomically sharp needle (top) positioned above the sample surface. The graphene nanoribbon sits on top of a gold substrate. Experimental data is shown in blue, revealing the distribution of electrons above the nanoribbon. Credit: Spencer Ammerman

When physicist Tyler Cocker joined Michigan State University in 2018, he had a clear goal: build a powerful microscope that would be the first of its kind in the United States.

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