Olson Research Group

Olson Research Group

Sub–Molecular Tunneling Spectroscopy


Laboratory Equipment

To work toward our research goals, our laboratory operates several pieces of instrumentation and other equipment.  Below is a brief description of our primary laboratory equiment.

Scanning Tunneling Microscope

We operate an ambient, RHK Technology SPM1000 STM, with a Molecular Imaging PicoSPM scan head.  We have found that imaging under ambient conditions is ideally suited for imaging the molecular orbitals of conjugated molecules adsorbed onto a graphite substrate.  While they have limitations, these types of instruments provide an excellent combination of ease of use, accuracy of results, experimental flexibility, and cost.

PicoSPM Scan Head

PicoSPM Scan Head.

RHK SPM100 Control Electronics

RHK SPM1000 Control Electronics

Close up of an STM tip

A Closeup of an STM Tip Immersed in an Analyte Solution Over a Graphite Substrate.

For our barrier height measurements, we also utilize a high-end digital waveform generator and lock-in amplifier from Stanford Research Systems.  Specifically, we use an SRS Model DS360 Ultra Low Distortion Function Generator, and an SRS SR530 Dual-Phase Lock-In Amplifier.


Stanford Research Systems Waveform Generator and Lock-In Amplifier.

Computational Resources

The Olson Group's research includes an important theoretical and computational component. Indeed, we strive to provide theoretical and computational justification for all of our results. To this end, we possess or have access to powerful computational resources.

The Blueshark HPC Cluster at Florida Tech

The Blueshark cluster at Florida Tech is an IBM iDataplex system, comprised of 63 compute nodes (Total of 1,720 processor cores and 4,397 GB RAM), 11 GPU nodes, 1 storage node and 1 head node. The Blueshark Cluster was funded by the National Science Foundation major Research Implementation grant (#CNS09-23050).

Blue Shark

Florida Tech's Blue Shark HPC Cluster.

Dell Precision T7500 Workstation

As part of NSF grant grant (1058427), the research team purchased a Dell 8-core T7500 workstation.  We use this system for computationally smaller jobs, especially for establishing computational 'proof of concept' before submitting more complete, larger computational jobs to the Blue Shark HPC Cluster.

Elizabeth Stewart and the Dell T7500 Workstation

Elizabeth Stewart and the Dell T7500 8-Core Workstation.

3-D Printing

Early in the current onset of the popularity of 3-D printing, the Olson Group purchased a Makerbot Replicator 2 3-D printer.  We use this resource to construct custom laboratory equipment and classroom educational materials.  Visit the Olson Group's Thingiverse page to see some of the 3-D printed crystal structure models that we have produced for use in materials education.

bcc Unit Cells from a 3-D printer.

Fresh Off the Printer – A New Batch of Body-Centered Cubic (bcc) Unit Cells.

3-D Printer hcp and fcp

A Recently Completed Build of Face-Centered Cubic (fcc) and Hexagonally-Close Packed (hcp) crystal structures.