VT SPM XA with with eddy current damping stage and LHe flow cryostat | © Scienta Omicron
VT SPM XA with with eddy current damping stage and LHe flow cryostat.
The VT SPM XA with zoom in to the eddy current damping stage, LHe cold finger and sample reception stage.  | © Scienta Omicron
The VT SPM XA with zoom in to the eddy current damping stage, LHe cold finger and sample reception stage.


Outstanding SPM performance with maximum flexibility.


  • Reliable & robust SPM solution.
  • Variable Temperature operation ranging from 50 K to 650 K.
  • True pA STM and dI/dV Spectroscopy.
  • Beam Deflection AFM and QPlus AFM.
  • A truly versatile SPM.

The Scienta Omicron VT SPM is the most commonly used workhorse SPM for room- and variable temperature applications. More than 500 instruments have been delivered and successfully installed around the world. The volume of research results including several thousand referenced publications is a conclusive proof for the performance, quality, and versatility of the Variable Temperature SPM design.

VT STM XA and VT AFM XA offer the full range of STM and AFM techniques under UHV conditions:

  • QPlusTM and beam deflection AFM
  • Kelvin probe microscopy
  • Magnetic force microscopy
  • Hydrogen de-passivation lithography

and many more. The VT SPM XA ensures high stability SPM work in a stand-alone UHV environment while various adaptations are available to interface the VT SPM Lab to larger UHV system clusters. 

More Information

Easy UHV System Integration

VT instruments are housed in their own, dedicated UHV chamber which can either be mounted onto a standard Scienta Omicron system (MULTIPROBE…) or “bolted-on” to an existing vacuum system. In this case the wobble stick enables the sample transfer from the main vacuum system to the VT instrument. Instead of directly mounting the bolt-on SPM chamber to an existing system, Omicron also offers specifically designed small sub-systems. These operate as stand-alone systems and can be connected via a sample transfer mechanism to any existing system.


The VT STM utilizes a scanned tip design with a single tube scanner which has a scan range (xyz) of 12 μm × 12μm × 1.5 μm. The tips are exchangeable in-situ. The first I/V conversion stage is located in-situ, close to the scanner in order to achieve the best signal-to-noise ratio and optimal performance. The scanner is mounted on an independent, orthogonal, and guided 3D coarse positioning device with 10 mm × 10 mm × 10 mm travel in xyz direction comment. An upgrade to QPlus® AFM is available.

Beam deflection AFM Technology

The AFM Technology of the Variable Temperature SPM is based on more than 20 years of experience in Atomic Force Microscopy in UHV. It has been continuously developed and improved. The classic Beam Deflection AFM for contact and non-contact AFM offers the flexibility for many operational modes and different cantilever types. For example, high resolution AFM, Friction Force Microscopy, Electrostatic Force Microscopy (EFM), Scanning Kelvin Probe Microscopy (SKPM) and Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM) are available.

The latest major development is a new AFM preamplifier which increases the detection bandwidth from 450 kHz to 2 MHz. In combination with the new AFM electronics (PLL) of the MATRIX Control System, users can now use high resonant frequency cantilevers for high speed non-contact AFM measurements.

This preamplifier technology in combination with an improved light source is also available as an upgrade package for existing Variable Temperature AFM’s. Please contact your local sales representative or our service support team (service@omicron.de) if you are interested in upgrading your system.

The “QPlus®” sensor, based on a tuning fork design, is today extending the possible application range of the Variable Temperature SPM.

‘QPlus Sensor’ AFM (Optional)

The ‘QPlus® sensor’ is based on a quartz tuning fork and a new approach for non-contact atomic force microscopy. Due to the stiffness of the QPlus® sensor (spring constant ~ 1800 N/m), it can be operated with smaller oscillation amplitudes compared to conventional cantilevers. The sensor is also useful for AFM navigation of an STM tip and subsequent STM imaging and spectroscopy. Due to the stiffness and the use of solid metal tips, stable STM operation can be achieved using the QPlus® sensor. The QPlus® sensor is therefore ideal for the inclusion in STM‘s, and also as a complementary sensor for beam deflection instruments.

Sample and Tip Transfer

An easy-to-use, pincer-grip wobble stick is used for the fast transfer between the main system manipulator, the sample/tip storage carousel, and the sample acceptor stage in the UHV SPM. The transfer rod is employed to transport samples and tips to and from the fast sample entry chamber or the preparation chamber.

Optical Access

The Variable Temperature SPM chamber offers 4 ports with a direct view to the sample. They can be used for mounting evaporators, a CCD camera or for optical experiments with lasers or photon detection.

Reference Systems


VT XA Series: Variable Temperature UHV SPM

16/04/2021 3.91 MB

The VT XA design forms a new series of VT instruments using standard Scienta Omicron samples plates. The philosophy of the XA series is to provide maximum compatibility with many different surface science techniques, like MBE, RHEED and different kinds of electron spectroscopy.

MULTIPROBE: Multi-Technique UHV Surface Science Systems

The modular and compact design of the MULTIPROBE systems has proven itself more than 1000-times and forms the core module for multi-technique Ultra-High-Vacuum (UHV) applications. A typical comprehensive MULTIPROBE system combines UHV SPM (at variable or dedicated low temperatures) and electron spectroscopy techniques (Mono-XPS, UPS, AES/SAM, etc.) with thin film growth facilities (MBE, PLD, Sputtering, etc.). Our strength is to combine a wide range of techniques in a single UHV system - with uncompromised performance.

ZyVector: STM Control System for Lithography

16/04/2021 2.59 MB

Scienta Omicron and Zyvex Labs announce a collaboration to develop and distribute tools for research and manufacturing that require atomic precision. The ZyVector STM Control System from Zyvex Labs turns a Scienta Omicron STM into an atomically-precise scanned probe lithography tool, and will be distributed world-wide by Scienta Omicron.

Zyvector Booklet

Zyvex Labs pursues research and develops tools for creating quantum computers and other transformational systems that require atomic precision, towards its eventual goal of Atomically Precise Manufacturing. As part of this effort, ZyVector turns the world-class Scienta Omicron VT-STM into an STM lithography tool, creating the only complete commercial solution for atomic precision lithography.

Zyvex CHC Controller

16/04/2021 2.78 MB

Scienta Omicron and Zyvex Labs announce a new leap forward in STM design; real- time position correction. The ZyVector STM control system from Zyvex Labs uses live position correction to enable atomic-precision STM lithography. Now the same live position correction technology is brought to the Matrix STM control system for microscopy and spectroscopy users, enabling fast settling times after large movements in x, y and z, and precise motion across the surface, landing and remaining at the desired location.

Services & Spare-parts

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