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Low-Temperature Scanning Tunneling Microscopy

Low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy (LTSTM) systems operated in ultrahigh vacuum and at a base temperature of 5 K are used to generate and study ultimately small nanostructures.

Our microscopes feature a highly stable “Besocke-Beetle” type scanner design in combination with a liquid helium bath cryostat allowing us to (i) manipulate single atoms and molecules adsorbed on a surface, (ii) induce elementary excitations by inelastic electron tunneling, and (iii) perform local tunneling spectroscopy measurements.

Technical details of the LTSTM setup:

  • Variable STM head temperature from 5 to around 150 K
  • Helium consumption one 4 l fill per 3 to 4 days
  • In-situ tip exchange
  • Optical access to the sample in the measurement position
  • Noise level < 1 pm along scan direction
  • Lateral drift < 1 Å per hour