Tip Revolver for Scanning Tunneling Microscope
Original Publication Date: 1989-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-27
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.