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An electromagnetic microscopic positioning device for the scanning tunneling microscope

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3 Author(s)
Corb, B.W. ; Institut für Physik der Universität Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 82, CH‐4056 Basel, Switzerland ; Ringger, M. ; Guntherodt, H.‐J.

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We have developed a device that is capable of moving with steps as small as 70 Å in any direction over a flat surface. The device that we call the Maggot consists of two permanent magnets attached to the corners of a triangular plate that stands on a flat base with three fixed ball‐bearing feet. The Maggot is propelled across the base by the magnetic fields from two coils that are powered by computer‐controlled current pulses. Steering of the Maggot is made by vector addition of the pulses by the computer. A complete electromagnetic force theory is given in order to find the best magnet and solenoid geometries for maximum performance. The Maggot is UHV compatible, operates from 500 to 4.2 °K, and is most suitable for operation on a vibration‐isolated base. Movement data is measured with both optical and scanning tunneling microscopy.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:58 ,  Issue: 11 )