Fabrication of high aspect ratio AFM probes with different materials inspired by TEM "lift-out" method

TitleFabrication of high aspect ratio AFM probes with different materials inspired by TEM "lift-out" method
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsTan, SChing, Zhao, H, Thompson, CV
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science & Technology B
Date Published2016/09//
ISBN Number1071-1023
Keywordsatomic-force microscopy, nanowires, tip

The most commonly used materials in all commercially available high-aspect-ratio ( HAR) nanowire's ( NW) tips are made of silicon and carbon nanotube which limit their applications in other types of atomic force microscopy ( AFM), such as conducting AFM and magnetic force microscope. Therefore, a simple process inspired by cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy sample preparation method was used to demonstrate the feasibility of fabricating HAR AFM probes, which can easily define the tilt angle of the NW tip with respect to the direction that is normal to the axis of the cantilever to which it is attached by simply tilting the sample stage where the cantilever is placed. This is very important as it enables precise control of the inclination angle of the NW tip and allows the tip to be made perpendicular to the probed surface for scanning with different AFM mounts. Two different tips were fabricated, one attached parallel and the other attached at an angle of 13 degrees with respect to the normal of the cantilever axis. These tips were used to profile the topography of a silicon nanopillar array. Only the probe attached at an angle of 13 degrees allowed mapping of the topography between nanopillars. This is the first successful demonstration of an HAR AFM tip being used to map the topography of a nanopillar array. In addition, the authors also demonstrated that this method can be extended to fabricate HAR AFM tips of different materials such as copper with a slightly modified approach. (C) 2016 American Vacuum Society.

Short TitleJ. Vac. Sci. Technol. B