Research in a wide range of disciplines – materials science, nano-science, heterogeneous catalysis, corrosion science, polymer science to name but a few – is in strong need of improved surface imaging techniques with structural, chemical, electronic, and magnetic contrasts at spatial resolutions in the nanometer range. Spectroscopic PhotoElectron and Low Energy Electron Microscope (SPELEEM) is unique in that it provides easy access to all of these contrast mechanisms at resolutions in the nanometer range in a single instrument. One of recent and the most important developments concerning this instrument is the upgrade to a microscope with an aberration corrector, which improves the spatial resolution of the microscope by an order of magnitude while increasing the transmission by a similar factor. SPELEEM also has the advantage of having a large dynamic range of view of up to ~100 micrometres thereby facilitating easy access to the structure of not only the nanometer but the micrometer scale as well. Finally, as the detection in SPELEEM is done at video-rates, monitoring of real-time dynamical processes is possible.


General UsersSPELEEM in the soft X-ray range


One atom thin platinum makes a great chemical sensor

The image depicts a schematic of platinum atoms deposited on the surface of the carbon “buffer-layer”. The buffer layer, grown epitaxially on silicon carbide, is a graphene-like 2D insulating material that enables the two-dimensional growth mode of platinum. The chemical-to-electrical transduction with atomically-thin platinum is possible due to inherent interactions of transition metals with chemical