TSTM is a commercial low-temperature scanning tunneling microscope system adapted over the years to suit our experimental needs. The ultra-high vacuum (UHV) chamber has three main parts: a load-lock for sample transfer; a main chamber for sample growth and initial characterisation via low energy electron diffraction; and finally a measurement chamber. At the latter a He cryostat facilitates high-resolution scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy down to 5 K.
Research at TSTM has recently been focused on the local electronic properties of 2D materials such as Gr, h-BN and members of the transition metal dichalcogenide family like MoS2, VS2 and TaS2. They are grown in high quality, often in combination with each other to form tailored 2D heterostructures. We can introduce foreign atomic species (e.g. alkalis, rare earth metals) to further alter the electronic and chemical properties of the 2D materials in a controlled manner, observing their response at the atomic scale in STM and STS.