Since 2000, the low-temperature scanning tunneling microscope (LT-STM) is an essential part of CreaTec's product range. In addition to its nanoanalytical capabilities, it allows the precise manipulation of atoms and molecules at temperatures from 4 to 300 K. Starting with our proven beetle-type STM with highest spectroscopy performance, we have continuously developed this instrument to three different scanning probe systems: a 4 K LT-STM, a combined 4 K LT-STM/AFM, and a 1 K LT-STM system.

The 4 K microscopes are available as beetle-type scanners and PAN-type sliders, with different options like e.g. magnetic field, optical access and high-frequency cabling. All these microscopes offer ultimate STM, STS and IETS performance including one of the longest LHe hold times, extremely low drift rates and outstanding stability (dz<1 pm) compared to similar low-temperature SPM systems. State-of-the-art spectroscopy and atom manipulation can be performed on metals, semiconductors, insulators, superconductors and carbon at low temperatures. The 4 K LT-STM/AFM is also well adapted for experiments at variable temperatures ranging from 5 to 300 K. Our fully compatible low-temperature atomic force microscope (AFM) was introduced in 2007 allowing for simultaneous measurements of force and tunneling current without cross-talk using constant frequency or constant height control.

Flyer - LT-STM/AFM

Performed experiments demonstrate the ultimate performance of CreaTec LT-STM/AFM System:






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STM/AFM Electronics

CreaTec STM electronics are based on a digital design. A DSP (digital signal processor) controls the scanning parallel (x, y) to the surface as well as the tip/sample separation. All scanning/feedback parameters are fully controlled through the STM program. An additional high voltage amplifier and a current preamplifier complement the electronics. There are options to read data from external devices, too.

DSP Unit

HV Amplifier


STM/AFM Software

In addition to standard features like 3D image rendering, histogram etc. it also includes a flexible atomic manipulation part with lateral manipulation in constant current and constant height mode, vertical manipulation and tip forming.

STM/AFM Software


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Atomic Hydrogen Source (HLC)     Heating Stages     Sample Holder