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Advances in manufacturing of molded tips for scanning probe microscopy

Moldovan, N and Dai, Z and Zeng, H and Carlisle, JA and Jacobs, TDB and Vahdat, V and Grierson, DS and Liu, J and Turner, KT and Carpick, RW (2012) Advances in manufacturing of molded tips for scanning probe microscopy. Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, 21 (2). 431 - 442. ISSN 1057-7157

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A common method for producing sharp tips used in scanning probe microscopy (SPM) and other applications involving nanoscale tips is to deposit thin-film materials, such as metals, silicon nitride, or diamond-based films, into four-faceted pyramidal molds that are formed by anisotropic etching into a (100) silicon substrate. This well-established method is capable of producing tips with radii as small as a few nanometers. However, the shape of the tip apex is difficult to control with this method, and wedge-shaped tips that are elongated in one dimension are often obtained. This limitation arises due to the practical difficulty of having four planes intersecting at a single point. Here, a new method for producing three-sided molds for SPM tips is demonstrated through the use of etching in (311) silicon wafers. It is shown that silicon nitride and ultrananocrystalline diamond tips fabricated with this new method are wedge free and sharp (< 10 nm radius), thereby restoring tip molding as a well-controlled manufacturing process for producing ultrasharp SPM tips. © 2012 IEEE.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Moldovan, N
Dai, Z
Zeng, H
Carlisle, JA
Jacobs, TDBtjacobs@pitt.eduTJACOBS0000-0001-8576-914X
Vahdat, V
Grierson, DS
Liu, J
Turner, KT
Carpick, RW
Date: 1 April 2012
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems
Volume: 21
Number: 2
Page Range: 431 - 442
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1109/jmems.2011.2174430
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1057-7157
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2014 20:21
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2019 15:55


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