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Tip Revolver for Scanning Tunneling Microscope

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000034372D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-27
Document File: 2 page(s) / 45K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Ott, HP: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

In using the Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) 1, relatively frequent replacement of worn-down tunnel tips 2 is necessary. This may pose a problem where the STM works in a UHV environment. To avoid repeated venting of the system, it is desirable to have a plurality of tips available within the vacuum chamber. The tip revolver 3 comprises a rotatable tip magazine consisting of a drum 4 having radial receptacles 5 in its periphery for receiving up to about ten tip assemblies 6. Drum 4 can be remotely rotated against a ratchet mechanism 7 which ensures exact alignment of each of the receptacles 5 with a wobble stick 8 provided for removing a worn tip assembly 6 from the STM 1 and fetching a fresh tip assembly from revolver 3 for replacement under remote control.

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Tip Revolver for Scanning Tunneling Microscope

In using the Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) 1, relatively frequent replacement of worn-down tunnel tips 2 is necessary. This may pose a problem where the STM works in a UHV environment. To avoid repeated venting of the system, it is desirable to have a plurality of tips available within the vacuum chamber. The tip revolver 3 comprises a rotatable tip magazine consisting of a drum 4 having radial receptacles 5 in its periphery for receiving up to about ten tip assemblies 6. Drum 4 can be remotely rotated against a ratchet mechanism 7 which ensures exact alignment of each of the receptacles 5 with a wobble stick 8 provided for removing a worn tip assembly 6 from the STM 1 and fetching a fresh tip assembly from revolver 3 for replacement under remote control. Each tip assembly 6 consists of a tunnel tip 2 held in a collar 9, which can be engaged by a gripping mechanism of wobble stick 8, and a set of leaf springs 10 extending from collar 9 and serving to retain tip assembly 6 when inserted in its respective receptacle 5 on drum 4 as well as on the xyz-drive 11 of STM 1.

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