Experimental setup

Nanoplast experimental setup is composed of 2 interconnected UHV chambers (Fig 1). The first chamber (1) is dedicated to sample surface preparation. The surface is controled via Auger Electron Spectroscopy (AES) and Low Electron Diffraction (LEED). The second chamber hosts the compression stage and the microscope.

The main caracteristics of Nanolplast setup are the following:

  • base pressure: < 8. 10-11 mbar in preparation chamber,  < 5. 10-11 mbar in microscope chamber
  • surface preparation by Ar ion milling and heating up to  1300 K
  • mechanical compression stress up to  σ = 500 MPa and total deformation  ε = 15% for standards  6x2x2 mm3 samples
  • Atomic resolution maintained under stress (Fig 2)
  •  real time imaging during deformation  (fig 3) via atomic force microscopy  (AFM) or scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM)
gamelles Nb111
Fig 1:  Nanoplast setup Fig 2: Niobium (111) surface under stress σ = 100 MPa



Fig 3: real time imaging of Ni3Al intermetallic compound during deformation (AFM)



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