"Jamais 2 sans 3" as the French say, where number 3 worked as a charm. We were able to host the third SPM User 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 areas are spin physics and imaging. The 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, Christian Degen (followed by Alex Eichler)
Networking in progress 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 showed us some old pictures of three young folks who subsequently followed three 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 setup 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 Qzabre founder Gabriel Puebla-Hellmann
Getting to know a new expert in NV sensing technology - Qzabre
These talks, which often made 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 according to Lukas Eng
"I am proud 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
As 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 and 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 latter 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 "diluted" with a poster session and a relaxing local beer tasting. It was an excellent opportunity to look at the latest science in a friendly atmosphere while 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 a scenic walk to the restaurant "Die Weid", which looks out over Zurich.
Beer tasting that accompanied the poster session
Poster session in action
Scenic walk from ETH Zurich to the restaurant with a view of Zurich
In addition to the special guests and their presentations, this third User Meeting could offer a broader range of ETH lab tours taking advantage of its location, which even included a Zurich Instruments company tour on Friday afternoon. 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. Three parallel sessions were offered with a focus on multi-frequency signal detection, arbitrary signal generation and full data acquisition, showcasing three classes of instruments, namely the MFLI, HDAWG and UHFLI. 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 and are able to make the most of their capabilities - we are here to answer any questions that you might have.
Check out some of our tutorials from the event:
- Data Acquisition using the LabOne User and Programming Interfaces by Tino Wagner
- AWG and I/Q Modulation by Mehdi Alem
You can also take a look at our webpage on SPM.
Discovering the highest and lowest Kelvin values during the lab tours at ETH Zurich
Data acquisition with Tino Wagner, Zurich Instruments
The final session of the User Meeting 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 are eager to learn more, we invite you to come and join us this time next year. Stay tuned! Thank you for all your contributions.
Acknowledgments: From an organizational viewpoint, 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 two 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!