Concept for support and cleavage of brittle crystals

Autor(en): Troeger, L.
Schuette, J.
Ostendorf, F.
Kuehnle, A.
Reichling, M. 
Stichwörter: atomic force microscopy; ATOMIC SIZE DEFECTS; brittle fracture; CAF2(111) SURFACE; crystals; FORCE MICROSCOPY; Instruments & Instrumentation; Physics; Physics, Applied; RESOLUTION; sample holders; STEPS
Erscheinungsdatum: 2009
Herausgeber: AMER INST PHYSICS
Journal: REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS
Volumen: 80
Ausgabe: 6
Zusammenfassung: 
We report on sample holders for crystals to be cleaved for the preparation of surfaces with large atomically flat terraces. The concept for mounting sample crystals is based on a vicelike clamping mechanism to securely hold the crystal in position while reducing the risk of fragmentation. Sample holders based on this concept and made of suitable materials allow preparation and cleavage of crystals in the ultrahigh vacuum at high or low temperatures. To cleave the crystal, we employ a scalpel blade mounted on a wobble stick to generate a highly localized stress field initiating the cleavage process. The sample holders are used for experiments of highest resolution scanning force microscopy, however, the concept can be transferred to any other system where cleavage faces of crystals are of interest. Exemplarily, scanning force microscopy results demonstrate that (111) cleavage faces of CaF(2) crystals can be prepared with steps only a few F-Ca-F triple-layers high and atomically flat terraces extending over areas of several mu m(2).
ISSN: 00346748
DOI: 10.1063/1.3152367

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