Our component of the month April is a housing for a scanning tunneling microscope. The microscope is used in the Research Center for Nanometrology (LENA), at the TU Braunschwein. With the help of the scanning tunneling microscope, individual atoms and molecules can be imaged. To do this, a tip is brought as close as possible to the sample surface without touching it. Just two to five atoms then fit between the tip and the sample.
The microscope collects the information via a low but extremely precise electrical signal. In the process, the tip is moved line by line over the surface of the sample. This makes it possible to visualize even individual atoms on the surface and to create artificial molecules from individual atoms. The housing is a turned and milled part made of grade 5 titanium. It is approximately 90 mm long and has a diameter of 150 mm.