A week in the life of an MBE operator: A case study: Friday

Faebian Bastiman


0850: Day starts: Drink 1L of water to hydrate body and counteract dehydration caused by long term exposure to dry, cool air conditioned laboratory.

0855: System checks. Inspected the ion gauge pressures, the status of all pumps and LN2 level. Inserted MIG into beam path in preparation for BEP flux measurements.

0856: Outgas Ga. Executed a program in the Ga cell’s PID controller than ramps up to 975°C in 30 minutes, holds for 30 minutes and then ramps down to 950°C and holds.

0900: As flux check. As shutter and valve were opened. Fluxes were taken at several valve positions consistent with previous days. Fluxes are recorded in the “flux check record” tab of the log spread sheet.

0926: As flux check completed. Gathered flux values were compared with legacy data for continuity checks. As shutter is closed and background As4 is pumped from the system. Vacuum recovery progresses prior to Ga flux check.

0940: Ga flux check. Ga shutter was opened for 60 seconds and the flux was recorded, averaged over 10 seconds. The shutter was then closed, the background flux was sampled, subtracted and the “flux check record” tab of the log spread sheet was updated. Current flux value is compared to legacy data for continuity.

1000: Sample 1: Start. Transferred sample from outgas stage to growth chamber and manually began recipe.

1010: Sample 2 Outgas. Transferred sample 2  from FEL to outgas stage and executed outgas program in PID controller.

1020: Paperwork.

1210: Sample 1: Complete. Transferred sample from growth chamber to FEL.

1215: Lunch and consumption of another litre of water.

1245: Software test. Wrote and executed a test recipe to observe the functionality of the new software. Made notes and suggested improvements/modifications/extensions.

1530: Sample load/unload. The sample in the FEL (grown today) was removed and placed in a labelled box. One new Si(111) substrate was mounted and the FEL pumped down manually and the degas cycle started . The intention to implement “automatic FEL pump down and degas” was reaffirmed whilst shaking a fist at the heavens. Sample was cleaved and passed to a colleague for SEM analysis.

1600: Update log. Sample locations were updated on the “locations” tab of the log spread sheet to reflect new sample locations and status.

1610: Day ends (early Friday finish). Drink another litre of water. Go home.

Total 6.33 hours. Growth: 1 samples. Samples/hour: 0.16

One thought on “A week in the life of an MBE operator: A case study: Friday

  1. Pingback: A week in the life of an MBE operator: A case study: Analysis | Dr. Faebian Bastiman

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