Variable-temperature scanning tunneling microscope

J. W. Lyding, S. Skala, J. S. Hubacek, R. Brockenbrough, G. Gammie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A thermally compensated tube scanner scanning tunneling microscope (STM) has been constructed and successfully tested. This design utilizes two concentric piezoelectric tubes, one for scanning and one for thermal compensation and inertial sample translation (over several mm), as well as fine adjustment of sample position while in tunneling range. This design eliminates the need for mechanical components such as springs, levers, gears, or stepper motors that are known to result in considerable vibration sensitivity, thermal drift, and low-resonance frequencies. This new design demonstrates continuously variable-temperature operation as well as atomic resolution without vibration isolation for the first time in a STM. Thermal drift of less than 1 Å/h and less than 10 Å/K have been determined. Also, the lowest mechanical resonance frequency of 21 kHz makes this new design suitable for high-speed applications such as video rate scanning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1897-1902
Number of pages6
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation


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