Journal article

Miniature active damping stage for scanning probe applications in ultra high vacuum

Scanning probe microscope (SPM) experiments demand a low vibration level to minimize the external influence on the measured signal. We present a miniature six-degree of freedom active damping stage based on a Gough-Stewart platform (hexapod) which is positioned in ultra high vacuum as close to the SPM as possible. In this way, vibrations originating from the experimental setup can be effectively reduced providing a quiet environment for the SPM. In addition, the hexapod provides a rigid reference point, which facilitates wiring as well as sample transfer. We outline the main working principle and show that for scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) measurements of a Si(111) 7 x 7 surface, the hexapod significantly improves the stability and quality of the topographic images. (C) 2012 American Institute of Physics. []


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