Thursday, June 28, 2007

Tin Woodsman

We have been making repairs to our scanning tunneling microscope (STM) the past few days. Out system is normally kept under ultra high vacuum, so the interior hasn't been exposed to ambient conditions in about three years. We have to keep everything clean that goes inside the chambers, so we clean everything that goes inside in multiple solvents and when we work inside, it's always with gloves on. A small piece that we needed got dropped into the depths of the STM chamber, so I went in to retrieve it with foil wrapped around my arm to avoid contamination. We have since discovered that there are clean sleeves available in the lab for just this purpose, but they're not nearly as fun as wrapping yourself in aluminum foil.
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