SPM community brought together in Zurich

Jamais 2 sans 3,” as the French say, where number three worked as a charm. For this 3rd SPM User Meeting, we were able to host the meeting in our home city and brought together more users than ever before to share their experiences with Zurich Instruments!

Scanning Probe Microscopy is a broad field and this year’s focus on nano-magnetism was particularly well aligned with our hosts Prof. Christian Degen and Alex Eichler, whose research area is Spin-Physics & Imaging. The application rich program that we put together was our acknowledgement of the great diversity and excellence of our User Community.

Invited speaker and a co-host, Alex Eichler

Invited speaker and a co-host, Christian Degen (followed by Alex Eichler)

Networking in progress in between the sessions

Networking in progress in between the sessions

Much of the work stems from the Magnetic Resonance Force Microscopy (MRFM) connection at IBM Almaden: Christian Degen, Martino Poggio and Tjerk Oosterkamp pulled out some old pictures of 3 young folks who subsequently followed 3 amazing paths, working on how to couple spin with nanomechanical oscillators! This field is evolving into nano-MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging at the nanoscale) and now also making use of NV centers as a local nano-magnetometer probe.

Following our tradition of opening up our User Meetings to new and rising companies, we were impressed by QZabre’s recent accomplishments in the domain of NV imaging down to the nanometer scale. This was well aligned with the Lab Tour where it was possible to see the real experimental set-up that delivered some of the fantastic results presented during the talks, making an even more vivid connection between the user experience and scientific results.

Lab tour at ETH with a Qzabre founder Gabriel Puebla-Hellmann

Lab tour at ETH with a Qzabre founder Gabriel Puebla-Hellmann

Getting to know a new expert in NV sensing technology - Qzabre

Getting to know a new expert in NV sensing technology – Qzabre

All these talks, often making use of Non-Contact or dynamic AFM techniques, would have felt incomplete without the great contribution from Lukas Eng, who described the complexity and subtleties in identifying the many contributions and the interplay between them in magnetic and multiferroic samples. This is where the dissipation channel can prove to be a key discriminator for a better understanding of so many interactions happening under the tip.

Inspecting Bloch-, Néel- and Anti-Skyrmions by non-contact force microscopy by Lukas Eng

Inspecting Bloch-, Néel- and Anti-Skyrmions by non-contact force microscopy by Lukas Eng

“I am proud of that Zurich Instruments is picking up the ideas that come from both opticians and surface scientists in order to realize novel measurement scenarios for the community, like the time-resolved Kelvin-Probe-Force-Microscopy mimics that we had established a couple of years back.” Lukas Eng, Dresden University of Technology

“I am proud of that Zurich Instruments is picking up the ideas that come from both opticians and surface scientists in order to realize novel measurement scenarios for the community, like the time-resolved Kelvin-Probe-Force-Microscopy mimics that we had established a couple of years back.” Lukas Eng, Dresden University of Technology

Since the discussion of electric contribution and contact potential difference is ubiquitous in the field of SPM, the KPFM session with Tino Wagner, Jason Kilpatrick and Iaroslav Gaponenko showed how instrumentation and data analysis really help us to be more quantitative. This was demonstrated not only for time-domain analysis but also for open-loop and artefact free measurements, which are moving towards big data acquisition & machine learning. An inexhaustible source of inspiration!

Spin Physics can also be addressed by more ‘conventional’ techniques such as Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) or Scanning Gate Microscopy (SGM). The former makes use of a Spin-Polarized tip (SP-STM), the later using the tip as a movable electron scattering center. This opens the door to not only high spatial but also high temporal resolution when magnetic fields are controlled by time-resolved electric currents (Pietro Gambardella, Simon Diesch) or making use of resonance enhancement with an STM (Fabian Natterer), porting the mechanical amplification that would normally be handled by the AFM dynamics to the spin resonance with extraordinary effects.

As has now become usual our User Meeting’s scientific sessions and tutorials were, shall we say, “diluted” with a poster session and relaxing local beer tasting. It was an excellent opportunity to look at the latest science in a friendly atmosphere whilst reminding ourselves what real beer tastes like! Again, thanks to all who brought their posters and shared their knowledge and work. it will be worth a poster prize next time! Interactive sessions were followed by scenic walk to the restaurant “Die Weid”, which looks out over Zurich city.

Beer tasting that accompanied the poster session

Beer tasting that accompanied the poster session

Poster session in action

Poster session in action

Scenic walk from the ETH Zurich to the restaurant on the top of Zurich

Scenic walk from the ETH Zurich to the restaurant on the top of Zurich

In addition to special guests and their presentations, this 3rd User Meeting edition could offer a broader range of ETH lab tours taking advantage of this Zurich presence, which was even completed on Friday afternoon by a Zurich Instruments company tour. Walking through the labs and seeing how things are built and work together is a completely different and unique experience.

Another specialty of our User Meetings are the tutorials, big time. Three parallel sessions were offered with a focus on multifrequency signal detection, arbitrary signal generation and full data acquisition, showcasing 3 class of instruments, namely the MFLI, HDAWG and UHFLI, respectively. Such tutorials provide in-depth and better understanding of these topics when using our products. Our goal is that Zurich Instruments customers are always comfortable using our products are able to make the most of their capabilities – and we’re here to answer any questions that you might have.

Now, go ahead and check out some of our tutorials from the meeting:

Other resources:

 

Discovering highest and lowest Kelvin values during the Lab tours, ETH Zurich

Discovering highest and lowest Kelvin values during the Lab tours, ETH Zurich

Data Acquisition with Tino Wagner, Zurich Instruments

Data Acquisition with Tino Wagner, Zurich Instruments

The final session of the User Meeting ending was taken by Thomas Ihn, who showed textbook quality results drawing the line between ballistic transport and viscous electron fluid transport.

If like us, you remain hungry for more, we invite you to come and join us this time next year. Stay tuned!

Thank you all for your contribution.

Zurich Instruments User Meeting

Acknowledgments

From an organizational point of view, we owe gratitude to great local commitment from both the ETH Zurich side with Alex Eichler and the Zurich Instruments side with Marjorie Quéré, who really helped us enjoy a smooth event over these 2 days. Mehdi Alem took pride in building a great program that was well-orchestrated with the help of Paolo Navaretti, Tino Wagner, Molina Rostova and Eva Rojcek. Big thanks to all!