PGI-6 is permanently developing dedicated methods and up-to-date instrumentation in spectroscopy, microscopy and spectromicroscopy to enable and perform leading edge research.
The Nano-Spintronics-Cluster-Tool is a dedicated experimental platform for magnetism- and spintronics-related activities in our institute and integrates various complementary methods into a single instrument within an ultrahigh vacuum environment (UHV).
A central part of the Nano-Spintronics-Cluster-Tool is a high-resolution scanning electron microscope (SEM). The spatial resolution limit at high beam energies (30 keV) is 3 nm, while a beam booster improves the resolution at low beam energies (down to 0.1 keV). A high beam current of up to 5 nA in combination with an electron spin polarization detector allows fast structural and magnetic studies (SEMPA) on the mesoscale at variable temperatures (700 down to 30 K).
The magnetic nanoscale is accessed by means of an integrated low-temperature spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscope (SP-STM) operating at temperatures down to 4.5 K. The sample preparation chamber features a variety of proven surface science techniques. Ultra-thin films can be deposited from nine electron-beam evaporation sources. Reflection high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED) during evaporation and low energy electron diffraction (LEED) together with scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) allow atomic scale structural characterization. A dedicated chamber allows depositing magnetic molecules by various methods. Chemical composition and cleanness of surfaces are determined with Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) and x-ray photoemission spectroscopy (XPS). Magneto-optical Kerr effect (MOKE) measurements permit in-situ magnetic characterization of magnetic thin film systems.
Finally, the system provides three approaches for in-situ structuring: (i) shadow deposition through microapertures for contact pads, (ii) focused ion beam (FIB) etching in dual-beam configuration with the SEM for writing arbitrarily shaped structures of sizes down to 20 nm, and (iii) scanning tip structuring by STM for length scales below 20 nm. Thus, 6 orders of magnitude in sample size can be covered. The STM and SEM stages feature four electric contacts to the sample, which allow in-situ electric transport measurements.