We present the design and performance of a high-pressure scanning tunneling microscope (HP–STM), which allows atom-resolved imaging of metal surfaces at pressures ranging from ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) to atmospheric pressures (1×10−10–1000 mbar) on a routine basis. The HP–STM is integrated in a gold-plated high-pressure cell with a volume of only ∼0.5 l, which is attached directly to an UHV preparation/analysis chamber. The latter facilitates quick sample transfer between the UHV chamber and the high-pressure cell, and allows for in situ chemical and structural analysis by a number of analytical UHV techniques incorporated in the UHV chamber. Reactant gases are admitted to the high-pressure cell via a dedicated gas handling system, which includes several stages of gas purification. The use of ultrapure gasses is essential when working at high pressures in order to achieve well-defined experimental conditions. The latter is demonstrated in the case of H/Cu(110) at atmospheric H2 pressures where impurity-related structures were observed.

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