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Computer-Control of Surface Science Experiments With Labview

Author(s): K.D. Schierbaum | M. Cherradi | M. Bouchtaoui

Journal: International Journal of Computer Applications
ISSN 0975-8887

Volume: 3;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: LabVIEW | surface science | remote control

A LabVIEWTM 2009-based remote and process control programfor an ultra-high vacuum system and a variety of surface scienceexperiments is presented. The apparatus consists of fiveindividual recipients for sample preparation, surface analysis,scanning tunneling microscopy and a central chamber connectingthem by means of gate-valves. All processes like electron-beamheating, ion sputtering, gas exposure, thermal and electron-beamevaporation, analysis techniques, sample manipulation can rununder full automatic control; transfers are supported.A variety of useful auxiliary functions are implemented to controlbake-out processes, titanium sublimation pumps, pressureregulation of leak valves but also data acquiring, automaticreporting through ftp and emails, as well as externalcommunication and control via a TCP/IP connection with aportable PC. Important features of the software include a timecontrolmodule to operate up to five channels (repetitive heating,sputtering, gas exposure, evaporation and manipulation toevaporation positions) as well as full process control. Such toolsallows us to set up automatically processed experiments thatinclude e.g. the preparation of single-crystal surfaces, their AES(Auger electron spectroscopy) and LEED (low energy electrondiffraction) analysis as well as the evaporation and varioustreatments of thin films.
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