Variable Temperature Scanning Probe Microscopy System | © Scienta Omicron
Variable Temperature Scanning Probe Microscopy System | © Scienta Omicron
The VT SPM Lab
VT SPM Lab  | © Scienta Omicron
The VT SPM with eddy current damping stage and LHe flow cryostat | © Scienta Omicron
VT SPM Eddy current damping stage
A closer look at the VT SPM with eddy current damping stage.  | © Scienta Omicron
VT SPM Eddy current damping stage


Outstanding SPM Performance in a Compact Lab Environment


  • Compact system solution for high stability SPM work
  • Variable Temperature operation from 30 K to 600 K
  • True pA STM and dI/dV Spectroscopy
  • Beam Deflection and QPlus® AFM
  • In-situ Evaporation

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

  • QPlus® and beam deflection AFM
  • Kelvin probe microscopy
  • Magnetic force microscopy
  • Hydrogen de-passivation lithography
  • and many more.

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

More Information

The VT SPM Lab

The VT SPM Lab is a true multi-technique system. It is a powerful entry-level system with single analysis chamber and load lock. It is intended as a cost-effective solution to suit any laboratory and budget. The rigid construction is perfectly designed to ensure maximum stability for high resolution scanning probe microscopy; various surface analytical techniques including XPS, AES, UPS can be fitted. A sample transfer system facilitates the sample transfer between a bolt-on SPM, the analysis chamber and the optional fast entry sample load lock. The SPM Lab can also be interfaced to other system modules e.g. for ARPES or MBE.


The VT STM utilises 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 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.

Fastest Silicon Spin Two-qubit Gate

A group of scientists led by 2018 Australian of the Year Scientia Prof. Michelle Simmons have achieved their first Two Qubit Gate – a major milestone on the team´s quest to build a Quantum Computer. The team uses Scanning Tunneling Microscopy to place the atoms in silicon after the optimal distance between the two qubits had been worked out.

Reference systems


VT XA Series: Variable Temperature UHV SPM

3.84 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.

MATRIX 4: The SPM Controller Evolution

20/03/2020 6.15 MB

The MATRIX 4 Control System builds on 30 years of experience in SPM technology and unlocks the full capacity of our leading-edge Scanning Probe Microscopes. The key features include 1) intuitive and flexible experiment control; 2) best-in-class noise floor; 3) ultimate QPlus capability; 4) full 64-bit software; and 5) modular upgrade paths.

MATRIX 4: Beam Deflection AFM Option

1.39 MB

The Scienta Omicron MATRIX 4 Beam Deflection and Plus AFM Control System with digital PLL is an integral solution for the MATRIX control system and a perfect match with the Scienta Omicron SPMs. Includes sensor alignment & control, light source control, resonance/phase curve acquisition, amplitude channel, automatic phase adjustment and more. Processor board with an integrated Kelvin regulator.


1.92 MB

The advantages of the MATRIX Control System over its predecessor SCALA are: easier to use due to a self-explanatory graphical user interface (GUI); improved signal to noise level; a digital scan generator with no electronic drift; a digital regulator with more functionalities and flexibility; more measurement channels; improved AFM control with a new digital PLL controller; automated drift correction by image correlation technique; extended scripting and remote access functions; and flexible for PC model changes.

MULTIPROBE: Multi-Technique UHV Surface Science Systems

4.61 MB

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

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

3.64 MB

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

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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