Monday, July 02, 2007

Sophisticated Science with Aluminum Foil

We finally finished the repairs on our STM and are now doing what is known as a bake out in order to get our system back to ultra-high vacuum (UHV). This involves wrapping heating tapes around the instrument and then wrapping it with multiple layers of aluminum foil to distribute and insulate the heat. The heating causes particles that have been adsorbed to the interior of the chamber walls to come free. These particles are then evacuated from the chamber by a variety of pumps, which allows us to create a pristine, low-pressure system. Pictured here are my lab mate and me along with the great mythical foil beast.
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