A new scanning tunneling microscope reactor used for high-pressure and high-temperature catalysis studies

Tao, Feng; Tang, David; Salmeron, Miquel; Somorjai, Gabor A.
August 2008
Review of Scientific Instruments;Aug2008, Vol. 79 Issue 8, p084101
Academic Journal
We present the design and performance of a homebuilt high-pressure and high-temperature reactor equipped with a high-resolution scanning tunneling microscope (STM) for catalytic studies. In this design, the STM body, sample, and tip are placed in a small high pressure reactor (∼19 cm3) located within an ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) chamber. A sealable port on the wall of the reactor separates the high pressure environment in the reactor from the vacuum environment of the STM chamber and permits sample transfer and tip change in UHV. A combination of a sample transfer arm, wobble stick, and sample load-lock system allows fast transfer of samples and tips between the preparation chamber, high pressure reactor, and ambient environment. This STM reactor can work as a batch or flowing reactor at a pressure range of 10-13 to several bars and a temperature range of 300–700 K. Experiments performed on two samples both in vacuum and in high pressure conditions demonstrate the capability of in situ investigations of heterogeneous catalysis and surface chemistry at atomic resolution at a wide pressure range from UHV to a pressure higher than 1 atm.


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