Modern problems in surface science require a modern methodology. The Institut für Grenzflächenforschung und Vakuumphysik (IGV), from which PGI-3 emerged, has a proven track-record of instrument development. Examples are the Jülich design of magnetically levitated turbo pumps, the Besocke-design of scanning tunnelling miscroscopes that is still widely used today(the figure on the left is taken from Besocke´s original patent), and the Ibach-type high-resolution electron energy loss spectrometers that are still unsurpassed in energy resolution.
Currently, in PGI-3 we are working on a range of development projects, among them multi-tip scanning tunnelling microscopy for nanoscale transport experiments. Our most recent innovation in the field of scaninng tunnelling microscopy is the method of scanning tunnelling hydrogen microscopy (patents pending 2008, 2009), which yields images of unprecedented resolution.
Crystal Preparation Laboratory
High quality single crystals are an indispensible prerequiste for surface science. The Crystal Preparation Laboratory at PGI-3 is known for its excellent single crystal surfaces and has over the years pioneered many innovate surface preparation techniques. Laboratory staff orient, cut and polish single crystals . Most transition metals surfaces and many alloy surfaces can be prepared. More recently, a gradient oven for the purification of organic materials by re-sublimation has been designed and built.
A speciality of our Crystal Preparation Laboratory is the fabrication of so-called bead crystals. These are small crystals of a few mm diameter which are made from molten metal wire, following a patented process. They are of exceptional quality (strain-free, low mosaic). Bead crystals with one, two or even three wires for clamping and/or heating can be ordered through icryst, a spin-off company of PGI-3’s Crystal Preparation Laboratory.