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Rev Sci Instrum. 2015 Apr;86(4):043901. doi: 10.1063/1.4917009.

An ultra-compact, high-throughput molecular beam epitaxy growth system.

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Clarendon Laboratory, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3PU, United Kingdom.
CreaTec Fischer & Co. GmbH, Industriestr. 9, 74391 Erligheim, Germany.
Dr. Gassler Electron Devices GmbH, List Str. 4, 89079 Ulm, Germany.


We present a miniaturized molecular beam epitaxy (miniMBE) system with an outer diameter of 206 mm, optimized for flexible and high-throughput operation. The three-chamber system, used here for oxide growth, consists of a sample loading chamber, a storage chamber, and a growth chamber. The growth chamber is equipped with eight identical effusion cell ports with linear shutters, one larger port for either a multi-pocket electron beam evaporator or an oxygen plasma source, an integrated cryoshroud, retractable beam-flux monitor or quartz-crystal microbalance, reflection high energy electron diffraction, substrate manipulator, main shutter, and quadrupole mass spectrometer. The system can be combined with ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) end stations on synchrotron and neutron beamlines, or equivalently with other complex surface analysis systems, including low-temperature scanning probe microscopy systems. Substrate handling is compatible with most UHV surface characterization systems, as the miniMBE can accommodate standard surface science sample holders. We introduce the design of the system, and its specific capabilities and operational parameters, and we demonstrate the epitaxial thin film growth of magnetoelectric Cr2O3 on c-plane sapphire and ferrimagnetic Fe3O4 on MgO (001).


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