Getting access

The next proposal call for Bloch opens 2022-02-14, will close on 2022-03-14 and covers beamtimes for the period August-February 2022 (See:

The spinARPES B-branch at Bloch is currently in the commissioning phase, and accepting expert user commissioning proposals.

Regardless of the proposal situation, we encourage anyone with ideas for experiments to get in touch (). It is occasionally possible to perform short, unscheduled feasibility checks on unknown samples in order to support a future proposal.

Writing proposals

Bloch is oversubscribed, so proposals should be compelling and carefully written in order to be chosen by the advisory committee. Users are always welcome to send proposal drafts to the beamline staff ahead of the deadline if feedback is desired.

A standard beamtime allocation at Bloch begins 0900 Wednesday and ends 0900 the following Monday. When writing proposals, request and plan for 30 shifts (4 hours/shift, 6 shifts/day, 5 days).

We encourage users to arrive before the beamtime officially begins, in order to make all necessary preparations and be ready to start measuring as soon as the beam becomes available.

Support facilities

Optical microscopeAvailable (SMZ745T)
Blank sample plates in Al or OFHC CuAvailable
Conductive epoxyAvailable (Epotek H21-D)
Top posts for cleavable samplesNOT provided
Hot plates and microgram scalesAvailable
Ultrasonic solvent cleaningAvailable
Wet chemical processing (acids/bases)Available with advanced notice
UHV evaporatorsAvailable with advanced notice (EFM-3, EF 40C1)

Remote access

Remote access is always available, whether hybrid (some people on-site, some people at home) or full remote (nobody here in person, staff handle sample loading and transfers). Remote access users have full access to the measurement and beamline controls.

Sample plates

Both endstations at Bloch are configured for Omicron flag-style sample plates, both the regular flat type and the built up ‘direct heating’ type. We keep a large stock of copper and aluminium flat plates for experiments that do not involve heating above 100°C. For preparations involving heating above 100°C, molydenum sample plates of both types are available at the beamline for general use. These plates are shared among all users; if your experiment is particularly sensitive to contamination then you may need to either clean the plate first or bring your own.

Sample heights of at least 20mm are OK for ARPES. Transfer into the STM chamber will become impossible for sample heights over 5.9mm (measured from the surface of the sample plate)

If you bring your own sample plates, carefully check their compatibility with our systems. In particular:

  • The side edges (marked below as ‘Keep out’) should be within about 50um of 1mm thickness. Elsewhere on the plate the thickness is not important.
  • The hole in the tag makes transfers easier but is not mandatory
  • The small ‘wings’ at the tag end of the plate make transfers easier (by preventing over-insertion) but are not mandatory
  • Avoid having anything extend past the leading edge of the sample plate (i.e. the edge opposite the tag)



Source ports

‘Fast entry source ports’ are CF40 ports on the two preparation chambers where a gate valve and a short pumping T-piece have been installed. If a source is mounted to this port using a linear translator, it is possible to introduce it within 8-12 hours, without needing to vent the chamber. Contact beamline staff for details and size requirements if this will be of interest.