Nanoplast experimental setup is composed of 3 interconnected UHV chambers. The first chamber (on the right on the image below) is dedicated to sample surface preparation. The surface is controled via Auger Electron Spectroscopy (AES) and Low Electron Diffraction (LEED). The second chamber (middle) hosts the compression stage and the microscope for in situ experiments. The third one (on the left) is dedicated to UHV ex situ experiments, which means that it is no more possible to image the surfaces of the materials while straining.
The main caracteristics of Nanoplast setup are the following:
- Base pressure: < 5. 10-11 mbar,
- Surface preparation by Ar ion milling and heating up to 1300 K,
- In situ mechanical compression stress up to σ = 500 MPa and total deformation ε = 15%,
- Nominal dimensions of samples: 6 mm length and 2×2 mm2 compression face,
- Controlled strain rate from 10-4 to 10-6 s-1,
- Atomic resolution even under stress,
- Real time imaging during deformation by atomic force microscopy (AFM) or scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM),
- Ex situ UHV mechanical testing in compression up to T= 1500K.
Nanoplast experimental equipment