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Rev Sci Instrum. 2007 Oct;78(10):103701.

An ultrahigh vacuum fast-scanning and variable temperature scanning tunneling microscope for large scale imaging.

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Department of Physics and Material Science Program, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire 03824, USA.


We describe the design and performance of a fast-scanning, variable temperature scanning tunneling microscope (STM) operating from 80 to 700 K in ultrahigh vacuum (UHV), which routinely achieves large scale atomically resolved imaging of compact metallic surfaces. An efficient in-vacuum vibration isolation and cryogenic system allows for no external vibration isolation of the UHV chamber. The design of the sample holder and STM head permits imaging of the same nanometer-size area of the sample before and after sample preparation outside the STM base. Refractory metal samples are frequently annealed up to 2000 K and their cooldown time from room temperature to 80 K is 15 min. The vertical resolution of the instrument was found to be about 2 pm at room temperature. The coarse motor design allows both translation and rotation of the scanner tube. The total scanning area is about 8 x 8 microm(2). The sample temperature can be adjusted by a few tens of degrees while scanning over the same sample area.

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