A room-temperature ultra-high-vacuum scanning tunneling microscope for in situ scanning freshly grown epitaxial films has been developed. The core unit of the microscope, which consists of critical components including scanner and approach motors, is modular designed. This enables easy adaptation of the same microscope units to new growth systems with different sample-transfer geometries. Furthermore the core unit is designed to be fully compatible with cryogenic temperatures and high magnetic field operations. A double-stage spring suspension system with eddy current damping has been implemented to achieve ⩽5 pm z stability in a noisy environment and in the presence of an interconnected growth chamber. Both tips and samples can be quickly exchanged in situ; also a tunable external magnetic field can be introduced using a transferable permanent magnet shuttle. This allows spin-polarized tunneling with magnetically coated tips. The performance of this microscope is demonstrated by atomic-resolution imaging of surface reconstructions on wide band-gap GaN surfaces and spin-resolved experiments on antiferromagnetic Mn3N2(010) surfaces.

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