Equipment & Laboratories

The IMM hosts, under the supervision the SPM department, a cluster of cutting-edge labs we call the SPiN labs (Scanning Probe in Nijmegen). The SPM department houses a broad range of instruments including scanning tunneling microscopes (STM) and atomic force microscopes (AFM), operating from ambient conditions down to the milliKelvin regime. The most recently constructed STILL lab facility, one of the quietest labs in the Netherlands, is situated three floors underground and is optimized for ultra-high precision measurements in large magnetic fields. It houses one of the highest resolution STMs in Europe, and is capable of vector-field magnetic characterization, including spin-polarized STM. Our microscopes are integrated in an ultra-high vacuum system allowing for in-situ sample preparation (e.g. MBE, CVD). All instruments in the SPIN labs are customized commercial or home-built, based on strong in-house expertise in scanning probe technology, including multiple instruments capable of cryogenic operation, single-atom manipulation, and magnetic field-based measurements.

4K Omicron STM (Nanolab)

Operational temperature: 5 K. This facility is capable of spin-polarized tunneling and STM-induced light emission at 4He temperatures. It has a hold time of approximately 2 days, and has optical access to the STM, including a lens and ex-situ optical detection (single-photon counting module, grid spectrometer with LN2-cooled CCD). The facility is capable of in-situ growth of metallic overlayers as well as cold deposition of single atoms/molecules directly onto the sample inside the STM.

4K_Omicron_STM_crop


4K Createc STM/AFM (Nanolab)

Operational temperature: 5 K. This facility is capable of spin-polarized tunneling at 4He temperatures, magnetic exchange force microscopy (MExFM) measurements based on the qPlus design, as well as their simultaneous combination, i.e. SPEX microscopy. It has a hold time of almost 3 days, and has optical access to the STM.  The facility is capable of in-situ growth of metallic overlayers as well as cold deposition of single atoms/molecules directly onto the sample inside the STM/AFM.

Createc_STM_AFM


1K-9T SP-STM (Spacelab)

Operational temperature: 1.2 K. This facility is capable of spin-polarized tunneling at 4He temperatures. It has a hold time of approximately 7 days. The facility contains two addition MBE chambers and CVD capabilities for growth of samples and tips in situ. It also contains a 9T solenoid superconducting magnet for out-of-plane application.

spacelab


30mK-9/4T SP-STM (STILL lab)

Operational temperature: 30 mK. This facility is capable of spin-polarized tunneling and operates within a wet top-loading dilution fridge (Janis JDR-50, cooling power 115 µW). Furthermore, the system is equipped with high-frequency cabling permitting pump-probe and spin resonance measurements. It has a hold time of approximately 7 days. The facility contains two additional MBE chambers and CVD capabilities for growth of samples and tips in situ. It also contains a 9T solenoid and a 4T split-coil magnet, capable of vector mode operation in a 2D plane (up to 3T). For details, please see our publication: H. von Allwörden et al., Rev. Sci. Instrum. 89, 033902 (2018).

spinlab


6mK-9/4T SP-STM (STILL lab) – under development

Operational temperature: 6 mK. This facility is capable of spin-polarized tunneling and operates within a wet top-loading dilution fridge (Janis JDR-250, cooling power ca. 210 µW). Furthermore, the system is equipped with high-frequency cabling permitting pump-probe and spin resonance measurements. It has a hold time of approximately 7 days. The facility contains two additional MBE chambers and CVD capabilities for growth of samples and tips in situ. It also contains a 9T solenoid and a 4T split-coil magnet, capable of vector mode operation in a 2D plane (up to 3T).

STILL lab concept

In order to be able to acquire measurements in an ultra-quiet environment (concerning vibrational, acoustic, and electromagnetic noise), we have designed and built the STILL labs in Nijmegen, hosting two lab rooms whose walls and foundation are not in contact with the main building. The lab floor is a 150-ton concrete block resting on six damping springs, which allows for the whole laboratory to be floated during measurements. The room has high clearance and a pit, permitting an in-situ transfer of samples from the UHV system into the magnetic cryogenic STM. The labs are RF-shielded by a Faraday cage, with ca. 60 dB attenuation. Acoustic panels on the walls and ceiling as well as special filters for the air ventilation suppress the impact from airborne acoustic noise. Next to each lab, there is also an additional room for noisy mechanical pumps which is decoupled mechanically and acoustically from the quiet lab space. The lab was completed in late 2015. One room hosts the 30 mK STM setup. The second room will be used for a new 6 mK setup.

STILL_lab_concept