APE (http://www.elettra.trieste.it/elettra-beamlines/ape.html) is a facility for spectroscopic investigation of solid surfaces and nanostructured matter for which the sample preparation and survey represent crucial and integral part of the experiment. The APE concept is based on a state-of-the-art surface science laboratory as a support facility for advanced spectroscopies at two distinct beamlines using polarized synchrotron radiation in the ultraviolet and soft X-ray range from the Elettra storage ring. A number of spectroscopic techniques (ARPES and SPIN-RESOLVED ARPES, XAS, XMCD/LD, XPS, Mott magnetometry) is therefore coupled with sophisticated off-line preparation/growth (including PLD) and characterization tools (atomically resolved STM, LEED-Auger, magneto-optical Kerr effect). From 2013 APE became an integral part of the NFFA project demonstrator (www.trieste.nffa.eu) that allowed for the integration of an extra suite of growth and analysis chambers with the APE beamlines
The integral setup became an open access facility for sample growth (metal oxide MBE with photon absorption calibrated sources, in situ PLD laser ablation, physical beam deposition from e-beam sources and sublimation cells for metallorganics, masking), sample characterization (LEED, Auger, XPS with laboratory source, MOKE at 1.1T with azimuthal analysis, Vectorial MOKE at 0.1T, in-situ atomic-resolution room temperature STM) and advanced on-line spectroscopic characterization, including spin-resolved ARPES that was also implemented within NFFA.