Segmentation of scanning tunneling microscopy images

Jérôme Gilles
San Diego State University

Scanning probe microscopies and spectroscopies enable investigation of surfaces and even buried interfaces down to the scale of chemical-bonding interactions, and this capability has been enhanced with the support of computational algorithms for data acquisition and image processing to explore physical, chemical, and biological phenomena. Here, we describe how scanning probe techniques have been enhanced by the segmentation of images, thereby highlighting reactive and interesting disordered sites at domain boundaries. The developed method combines a first step of image decomposition, follow by specialized segmentation techniques using a variational approach, as well as extracting features via empirical wavelets. The results can be used to examine the dipole direction of individual molecules and surface domains, hydrogen-bonding interactions, and molecular tilt.

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