Scientific Facilities




Scientific Facilities

The Stuttgart Center for Electron Microscopy (StEM), formerly of the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS), moved to the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research (MPI-FKF) on April 1st, 2015. The transfer of the Center, led by Prof. Dr Peter A. van Aken, is an outcome of the scientific evolution of MPI-IS and adds great strength to the analytical capabilities of MPI-FKF. The Stuttgart Center for Electron Microscopy possesses extensive expertise in the field of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Besides conducting its own research, StEM also collaborates with departments in both Stuttgart Max Planck Institutes, as well as with other research institutions and industries. StEM currently has eight transmission electron microscopes, including two state-of-the-art aberration-corrected JEOL ARM200Fs and the unique Zeiss SESAM for high-resolution analytical work. The group also has three scanning electron microscopes, an electron microprobe, and a focused ion beam as well as advanced sample preparation labs with facilities to expertly prepare a very wide variety of materials.

Stuttgart Center for Electron Microscopy (Peter A. van Aken)

The Stuttgart Center for Electron Microscopy (StEM), formerly of the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS), moved to the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research (MPI-FKF) on April 1st, 2015. The transfer of the Center, led by Prof. Dr Peter A. van Aken, is an outcome of the scientific evolution of MPI-IS and adds great strength to the analytical capabilities of MPI-FKF. The Stuttgart Center for Electron Microscopy possesses extensive expertise in the field of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Besides conducting its own research, StEM also collaborates with departments in both Stuttgart Max Planck Institutes, as well as with other research institutions and industries. StEM currently has eight transmission electron microscopes, including two state-of-the-art aberration-corrected JEOL ARM200Fs and the unique Zeiss SESAM for high-resolution analytical work. The group also has three scanning electron microscopes, an electron microprobe, and a focused ion beam as well as advanced sample preparation labs with facilities to expertly prepare a very wide variety of materials. [more]
The Scientific Facility Computer Service runs the institute's central mail, print, software, backup and web servers, as well as file servers for the various departments and Max Planck Research Groups, all running the Linux operating system. Backup remains based on Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM); currently the total backup data volume approaches 140 TB, the central Storage Area Network has been extended to 230 TB. The estimated total number of desktops and data acquisition PCs remains around 800. Of these about two thirds run Windows, one third runs Linux, the number of Macs is rising slowly. While the number of High Performance Computing (HPC) nodes dropped significantly the number of computing cores rose slightly to 2420 cores with 12TB accumulated memory, the HPC associated electricity consumption dropped sharply to about 50 kW. Most central services were virtualized by means of the Xen hypervisor and can be moved freely between two server installations in the main building and the new High Precision Lab in order to ensure the High Availability (HA) of these servers. New laboratory networks for experimental setups were introduced in the main building and in the Precision Lab, where the design goal was maximal independence from the main building. The reorganization of the institute's network was successfully completed, as a result the group is responsible for all network operations in the Institute since January 2013. Currently the group prepares the relocation of the server and storage infrastructure to the modernized server room 6B13 to free space and climatization in the main server room for the new theory group. The group offers services to the Research School for Condensed Matter Science (IMPRS-CMS) and the Max Planck Society (BAUM chemicals database, ICSD crystallography database, MPG-TSM administration).

Computer Service (Armin Burkhardt)

The Scientific Facility Computer Service runs the institute's central mail, print, software, backup and web servers, as well as file servers for the various departments and Max Planck Research Groups, all running the Linux operating system. Backup remains based on Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM); currently the total backup data volume approaches 140 TB, the central Storage Area Network has been extended to 230 TB. The estimated total number of desktops and data acquisition PCs remains around 800. Of these about two thirds run Windows, one third runs Linux, the number of Macs is rising slowly. While the number of High Performance Computing (HPC) nodes dropped significantly the number of computing cores rose slightly to 2420 cores with 12TB accumulated memory, the HPC associated electricity consumption dropped sharply to about 50 kW. Most central services were virtualized by means of the Xen hypervisor and can be moved freely between two server installations in the main building and the new High Precision Lab in order to ensure the High Availability (HA) of these servers. New laboratory networks for experimental setups were introduced in the main building and in the Precision Lab, where the design goal was maximal independence from the main building. The reorganization of the institute's network was successfully completed, as a result the group is responsible for all network operations in the Institute since January 2013. Currently the group prepares the relocation of the server and storage infrastructure to the modernized server room 6B13 to free space and climatization in the main server room for the new theory group. The group offers services to the Research School for Condensed Matter Science (IMPRS-CMS) and the Max Planck Society (BAUM chemicals database, ICSD crystallography database, MPG-TSM administration). [more]
The X-Ray Diffraction group (Robert Dinnebier) provides X-ray diffraction measurements of powders and single crystals in the laboratory and at the synchrotron as well as neutron sources at ambient and non-ambient conditions. Research within the group is mainly concerned with the determination of crystal structures and microstructural properties (strain, domain size) of condensed matter from powder diffraction data. In addition, methodological development within this area is pursued. Scientific cooperation in all fields of routine and non-routine analysis of powder diffraction data is offered. Special expertise in the field of solution and refinement of crystal structures from powder diffraction data can be provided. Long-term research projects deal with the application of the method of maximum entropy (MEM) to powder diffraction data, parametric Rietveld refinement, automated analysis of 2D powder diffraction data, structure-property relationships of functional materials (e.g. thermochromic-, photochromic-, electronic-, magnetic-, building materials, mechanically response crystals), analysis of disordered materials, theory of ferroelastic phase transitions, analysis of magnetic structures, in-situ monitoring of mechanochemical synthesis, gas loading of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) etc.

X-Ray Diffraction (Robert Dinnebier)

The X-Ray Diffraction group (Robert Dinnebier) provides X-ray diffraction measurements of powders and single crystals in the laboratory and at the synchrotron as well as neutron sources at ambient and non-ambient conditions. Research within the group is mainly concerned with the determination of crystal structures and microstructural properties (strain, domain size) of condensed matter from powder diffraction data. In addition, methodological development within this area is pursued. Scientific cooperation in all fields of routine and non-routine analysis of powder diffraction data is offered. Special expertise in the field of solution and refinement of crystal structures from powder diffraction data can be provided. Long-term research projects deal with the application of the method of maximum entropy (MEM) to powder diffraction data, parametric Rietveld refinement, automated analysis of 2D powder diffraction data, structure-property relationships of functional materials (e.g. thermochromic-, photochromic-, electronic-, magnetic-, building materials, mechanically response crystals), analysis of disordered materials, theory of ferroelastic phase transitions, analysis of magnetic structures, in-situ monitoring of mechanochemical synthesis, gas loading of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) etc. [more]
The Central Information Service for the institutes of the Chemical Physical Technical (CPT) Section of the Max Planck Society offers database searches, which are too complex or demanding for end users, and provide access to information sources not included in the range of end user databases commonly accessible. Most important are the various field-specific literature and patent databases as well as the citation databases accessible via the Web of Science and Scopus. Establishing impact data for research evaluation has become a major field of activity of the information service. The application of meaningful indicators and the interpretation of citation data require some experience and sound background information. Research and publication activities in the newly emerging field of bibliometrics address the need of such experience when using and interpreting citation data.

Information Service CPT (Robin Haunschild)

The Central Information Service for the institutes of the Chemical Physical Technical (CPT) Section of the Max Planck Society offers database searches, which are too complex or demanding for end users, and provide access to information sources not included in the range of end user databases commonly accessible. Most important are the various field-specific literature and patent databases as well as the citation databases accessible via the Web of Science and Scopus. Establishing impact data for research evaluation has become a major field of activity of the information service. The application of meaningful indicators and the interpretation of citation data require some experience and sound background information. Research and publication activities in the newly emerging field of bibliometrics address the need of such experience when using and interpreting citation data. [more]
The Scientific Facility Chemical Service develops techniques and maintains experimental facilities in order to support all experimental groups of the Institute with the characterization of electrical, thermal and magnetic properties of new compounds and samples. Our mission targets at a great versatility and flexibility of the experimental methods including the development and cultivation of experimental techniques to perform measurements, e.g., on chemically highly sensitive and reactive small samples under inert gas conditions. Presently available are SQUID magnetometers, home-built ac-susceptometers, dc- and ac-electrical resistivity setups and calorimeters in a broad range of temperature and magnetic fields. Materials currently under investigation are novel superconductors (intercalated graphite, iron pnictides), new or unusual magnetoresistive materials (rare earth halides and hydride halides, composites), low-dimensional and frustrated magnetic systems and systems with unusual magnetic ground states (frustrated quantum chain systems, multiferroic materials).

Chemical Service (Reinhard Kremer)

The Scientific Facility Chemical Service develops techniques and maintains experimental facilities in order to support all experimental groups of the Institute with the characterization of electrical, thermal and magnetic properties of new compounds and samples. Our mission targets at a great versatility and flexibility of the experimental methods including the development and cultivation of experimental techniques to perform measurements, e.g., on chemically highly sensitive and reactive small samples under inert gas conditions. Presently available are SQUID magnetometers, home-built ac-susceptometers, dc- and ac-electrical resistivity setups and calorimeters in a broad range of temperature and magnetic fields. Materials currently under investigation are novel superconductors (intercalated graphite, iron pnictides), new or unusual magnetoresistive materials (rare earth halides and hydride halides, composites), low-dimensional and frustrated magnetic systems and systems with unusual magnetic ground states (frustrated quantum chain systems, multiferroic materials). [more]
The Scientific Facility Crystal Growth focuses on applying, modifying and developing techniques to grow large and high quality single crystals from melt, solution or gas phase. The techniques used comprise the traveling solvent floating zone (TSFZ) method, flux or top seeded solution growth (TSSG), vapor transport, Bridgman and Czochralski (CZ). Typical examples are cuprate superconducting oxides Bi2Sr2Can-1CunO2+4n+d, (n=1,2,3); REBa2Cu3O7-d, (RE=Rare earth), sizable single crystals of YBa2Cu4O8 by a novel flux method at ambient conditions, sodium cobaltates NaxCoO2 (x=0.25-0.95) - a strongly correlated electron system, the ionic conductors LiFePO4 with Mg, Zr, Si and Al substitution and large crystals of (Sr, Ca)FeO3-d - a family of compounds exhibiting unusual magnetoresistance effects. Recent highlights are the growth of high quality single crystals of iron-based superconductors, namely AxFe2-ySe2-z (A=K,Rb,Cs), REFeAsO (RE=Sm,La), A1-xKxFe2-yMyAs2 (A=Ba,Sr,Ca, M=Co, Ni, Mn), LiFeAs and Fe1+dTe1-xSex - a second class of high TC superconductors, topological insulators and superconductors of pure and doped Bi2Se3, Bi2Te3, and Sb2Se3 - the new states of quantum materials.

Crystal Growth (Chengtian Lin)

The Scientific Facility Crystal Growth focuses on applying, modifying and developing techniques to grow large and high quality single crystals from melt, solution or gas phase. The techniques used comprise the traveling solvent floating zone (TSFZ) method, flux or top seeded solution growth (TSSG), vapor transport, Bridgman and Czochralski (CZ). Typical examples are cuprate superconducting oxides Bi2Sr2Can-1CunO2+4n+d, (n=1,2,3); REBa2Cu3O7-d, (RE=Rare earth), sizable single crystals of YBa2Cu4O8 by a novel flux method at ambient conditions, sodium cobaltates NaxCoO2 (x=0.25-0.95) - a strongly correlated electron system, the ionic conductors LiFePO4 with Mg, Zr, Si and Al substitution and large crystals of (Sr, Ca)FeO3-d - a family of compounds exhibiting unusual magnetoresistance effects. Recent highlights are the growth of high quality single crystals of iron-based superconductors, namely AxFe2-ySe2-z (A=K,Rb,Cs), REFeAsO (RE=Sm,La), A1-xKxFe2-yMyAs2 (A=Ba,Sr,Ca, M=Co, Ni, Mn), LiFeAs and Fe1+dTe1-xSex - a second class of high TC superconductors, topological insulators and superconductors of pure and doped Bi2Se3, Bi2Te3, and Sb2Se3 - the new states of quantum materials. [more]
The Scientific Facility Technology develops advanced epitaxial growth technology to deposit complex compounds with atomic-layer precision. Using oxide pulsed laser deposition (PLD) systems and a unique molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) system we synthesize thin films, multilayers and superlattices of different complex oxides including cuprates, manganates, nickelates, cobaltates, ruthenates. The combination of both methods allows for the accurate fabrication and in-depth exploration of new heterostructure systems with defect control at the atomic level. Further important aspects are related to the physics of oxides interfaces. Novel quantum states can be realized by accurate deposition control at the interfaces between different oxides. The goal of our research is to engineer new metastable compounds and new functional interfaces with unique properties via optimization of the deposition process. This research is performed in close scientific cooperation with the scientific departments, in particular with the departments of Keimer, Maier, and Mannhart. In addition to PLD and MBE film growth, the TE service group offers deposition of metal (Au, Pt, Ti, Cr, …) and insulating (SiO, TiO2, Al2O3…) films and multilayers, as well as microlithography, dry ion etching, and fabrication of bonded contacts to different electronic devices.

Technology (Gennady Logvenov)

The Scientific Facility Technology develops advanced epitaxial growth technology to deposit complex compounds with atomic-layer precision. Using oxide pulsed laser deposition (PLD) systems and a unique molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) system we synthesize thin films, multilayers and superlattices of different complex oxides including cuprates, manganates, nickelates, cobaltates, ruthenates. The combination of both methods allows for the accurate fabrication and in-depth exploration of new heterostructure systems with defect control at the atomic level. Further important aspects are related to the physics of oxides interfaces. Novel quantum states can be realized by accurate deposition control at the interfaces between different oxides. The goal of our research is to engineer new metastable compounds and new functional interfaces with unique properties via optimization of the deposition process. This research is performed in close scientific cooperation with the scientific departments, in particular with the departments of Keimer, Maier, and Mannhart. In addition to PLD and MBE film growth, the TE service group offers deposition of metal (Au, Pt, Ti, Cr, …) and insulating (SiO, TiO2, Al2O3…) films and multilayers, as well as microlithography, dry ion etching, and fabrication of bonded contacts to different electronic devices. [more]
The Scientific Facility Interface Analysis investigates the atomic and electronic structure of solid-solid and gas-solid interfaces. Using electron spectroscopy techniques, electron diffraction, scanning probe microscopy and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), the atomic geometry and morphology as well as the chemical composition and bond coordination are determined for the sample surface and its immediate vicinity. Thin films and buried interfaces are accessible by sputtering techniques or sample cleavage methods. Experimental facilities available include a time-of-flight SIMS machine to quantify the chemical composition at the surface, within the film and at interfaces. Chemical and electronic properties are investigated using electron spectroscopy with high energy and momentum resolution. The crystallographic structure and the position of individual atoms are analyzed by low-energy electron diffraction and scanning tunneling microscopy. A scanning Auger microscope yields spectroscopic images with high lateral resolution. Sample morphology can be studied using an atomic force microscope and a white-light interferometer. The research activities of the group are directed towards growth and analysis of surfaces and ultrathin films of novel materials such as graphene, wide band gap semiconductors (SiC), oxidic multilayers, as well as epitaxial metal films. Material growth, heterojunctions, molecular adsorbates, metallization and ferromagnetic layers are investigated on an atomic level for a detailed understanding of the fundamental interactions involved in the growth process. In particular, graphene layers grown epitaxially on SiC surfaces and single crystalline metal films are investigated. Quasi-free standing, homogeneous, large area epitaxial graphene films are grown on SiC. Their electronic structure is tailored on an atomic level by doping and intercalation. The graphene valence bands are analyzed using angle-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy.

Interface Analysis (Ulrich Starke)

The Scientific Facility Interface Analysis investigates the atomic and electronic structure of solid-solid and gas-solid interfaces. Using electron spectroscopy techniques, electron diffraction, scanning probe microscopy and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), the atomic geometry and morphology as well as the chemical composition and bond coordination are determined for the sample surface and its immediate vicinity. Thin films and buried interfaces are accessible by sputtering techniques or sample cleavage methods. Experimental facilities available include a time-of-flight SIMS machine to quantify the chemical composition at the surface, within the film and at interfaces. Chemical and electronic properties are investigated using electron spectroscopy with high energy and momentum resolution. The crystallographic structure and the position of individual atoms are analyzed by low-energy electron diffraction and scanning tunneling microscopy. A scanning Auger microscope yields spectroscopic images with high lateral resolution. Sample morphology can be studied using an atomic force microscope and a white-light interferometer. The research activities of the group are directed towards growth and analysis of surfaces and ultrathin films of novel materials such as graphene, wide band gap semiconductors (SiC), oxidic multilayers, as well as epitaxial metal films. Material growth, heterojunctions, molecular adsorbates, metallization and ferromagnetic layers are investigated on an atomic level for a detailed understanding of the fundamental interactions involved in the growth process. In particular, graphene layers grown epitaxially on SiC surfaces and single crystalline metal films are investigated. Quasi-free standing, homogeneous, large area epitaxial graphene films are grown on SiC. Their electronic structure is tailored on an atomic level by doping and intercalation. The graphene valence bands are analyzed using angle-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy. [more]
With January 1st 2011, the cleanroom facility – previously a facility of the von Klitzing department – became part of the newly established Scientific Facility Nanostructuring Lab (NSL). Under class-10 cleanroom conditions with stable room humidity and temperature, samples can be processed by students of the Institute or in service by the cleanroom staff using photolithography, dry and wet etching, and material deposition under vacuum. For the fabrication of structures down to 10 nm – on small but also large area, electron beam lithography systems (Raith eline, Jeol JBX 6300 FS) using electron beam acceleration voltages up to 100 kV are available. A focused ion beam system allows to cut and to sculpture samples under vision of a scanning electron microscope (Zeiss Crossbeam). A state-of-the-art scanning electron microscope (Zeiss Merlin) is offered as characterization tool. The infrastructure is intended to be used in parallel by many students on their own, is dedicated to deal with different materials avoiding cross-contamination, and especially to handle small sample sizes (typical 5 mm by 5 mm), but also wafers up to 4 inches.

Nanostructuring Lab (Jürgen Weis)

With January 1st 2011, the cleanroom facility – previously a facility of the von Klitzing department – became part of the newly established Scientific Facility Nanostructuring Lab (NSL). Under class-10 cleanroom conditions with stable room humidity and temperature, samples can be processed by students of the Institute or in service by the cleanroom staff using photolithography, dry and wet etching, and material deposition under vacuum. For the fabrication of structures down to 10 nm – on small but also large area, electron beam lithography systems (Raith eline, Jeol JBX 6300 FS) using electron beam acceleration voltages up to 100 kV are available. A focused ion beam system allows to cut and to sculpture samples under vision of a scanning electron microscope (Zeiss Crossbeam). A state-of-the-art scanning electron microscope (Zeiss Merlin) is offered as characterization tool. The infrastructure is intended to be used in parallel by many students on their own, is dedicated to deal with different materials avoiding cross-contamination, and especially to handle small sample sizes (typical 5 mm by 5 mm), but also wafers up to 4 inches.