An extra room is dedicated to the preparation laboratory where preparation and storage of samples and equipment are possible. In the preparation laboratory, users can find an optical microscope, a table for preparation and several cabinets (for storing acetone and ethanol, for tools and for storing UHV components).

The optical microscope is mounted on a dedicated optical table and a highly stable micromanipulator system with W probe tips is installed close to the microscope body, as shown in the figure below.

 

 

The inspection of a sample surface under the optical microscope is recommended to ensure the tidiness of the surface before loading the sample in the UHV chamber: the presence of micrometre sized contaminants will most likely produce sparks during experiments in the SPELEEM microscope. The micromanipulator allows both the removal of contaminants from the sample surface and the fine manipulation of nanostructures over the surface, when needed.

The main characteristics of the optical microscope and of the micromanipulator are reported in the tables below.

 

Optical microscope

Characteristics 
CameraOlympus SC50
Image recording softwareOLYMPUS Stream Basic 2.3
ImageSize (pixel) 2560 x 1920
Size (calibrated) 4.5 mm x 3.4 mm
Lenses properties
-MPLAPO 2.5x/0.08 : working distance 10700 µm

-MPL-BD 10x/0.25 : working distance 7000 µm

-LMPLFLN-BD 20x/0.40 : working distance 12000 µm

-LMPLFLN-BD 50x/0.50 : working distance 10600 µm

-SLMPLN 100x/0.60 : working distance 7500 µm

Camera adapter magnification= 0.5x
PolarizerOlympus U-DICR Nomarski Prism Reflected Light
Stage motionx,y
z for the focus adjustment with coarse and fine motion
OtherRecording images and video, adjusting the focus within the same ROI while recording the image, measuring features and structures on the surface, and many more options.

 

Micromanipulator

Characteristics 
Rigid stand with platformThorlabs MP150

-platform adjustable height: 198.1 mm (Min), 309.3 mm (Max)

-360° rotation

-horizontal travel
3-Axis MicroBlockThorlabs MBT616D/M

-travel range: coarse 4 mm; fine 300 µm

-adjustment: coarse 500 µm/rev; fine 50 µm/rev
W Probe TipsOxford Instruments NanoAnalysis PT-0001.05.01

-tip radius: <0.5 µm

-taper angle: 6°

-shank diameter: 0.508 mm

-needle length: 19.304 mm