We present a newly developed facility comprising a combinatorial laser molecular beam epitaxy system and an in situ scanning tunneling microscope (STM). This facility aims at accelerating the materials research in a highly efficient way by advanced high-throughput film synthesis techniques and subsequent fast characterization of surface morphology and electronic states. Compared with uniform films deposited by conventional methods, the so-called combinatorial thin films will be beneficial in determining the accurate phase diagrams of different materials due to the improved control of parameters such as chemical substitution and sample thickness resulting from a rotary-mask method. A specially designed STM working under low-temperature and ultrahigh vacuum conditions is optimized for the characterization of combinatorial thin films in an XY coarse motion range of 15 mm × 15 mm with submicrometer location precision. The overall configuration and some key aspects such as the sample holder design, scanner head, and sample/tip/target transfer mechanism are described in detail. The performance of the device is demonstrated by synthesizing high-quality superconducting FeSe thin films with gradient thickness and imaging surfaces of highly oriented pyrolytic graphite, Au (111), Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+δ (BSCCO), and FeSe. In addition, we also have obtained clean noise spectra of tunneling junctions and the superconducting energy gap of BSCCO. The successful manufacturing of such a facility opens a new window for the next generation equipment designed for experimental materials research.
Combinatorial laser molecular beam epitaxy system integrated with specialized low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy
Ge He, Zhongxu Wei, Zhongpei Feng, Xiaodong Yu, Beiyi Zhu, Li Liu, Kui Jin, Jie Yuan, Qing Huan; Combinatorial laser molecular beam epitaxy system integrated with specialized low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 1 January 2020; 91 (1): 013904. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5119686
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