A fast-scanning, low- and variable-temperature scanning tunneling microscope

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The design and performance of a fast-scanning, low- and variable-temperature, scanning tunneling microscope (STM) incorporated in an ultrahigh vacuum system is described. The sample temperature can be varied from 25 to 350 K by cooling the sample using a continuous flow He cryostat and counter heating by a W filament. The sample temperature can be changed tens of degrees on a time scale of minutes, and scanning is possible within minutes after a temperature change. By means of a software implemented active drift compensation the drift rate can be as low as 1 nm/day. The STM is rigid, very compact, and of low weight, and is attached firmly to the sample holder using a bayonet-type socket. Atomic resolution on clean metal surfaces can be achieved in the entire temperature range. The performance of the instrument is further demonstrated by images of adsorbed hexa-tert-butyl-decacyclene molecules on Cu(110), by STM movies, i.e., sequential STM images with a time resolution down to 1 s/image (100×100 Å2 with 256×256 pixels), of the mobility of these molecules, and finally by constant current images of standing waves in the electronic local density of states on Cu(110). © 2001 American Institute of Physics.

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Review of Scientific Instruments

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