Miniaturized single-crystal silicon cantilevers for scanning force microscopy

Yang, J. L.; Despont, M.; Drechsler, U.; Hoogenboom, B. W.; Frederix, P. L. T. M.; Martin, S.; Engel, A.; Vettiger, P.; Hug, H. J.
March 2005
Applied Physics Letters;3/28/2005, Vol. 86 Issue 13, p134101
Academic Journal
We report on a method to reproducibly batch fabricate single-crystal silicon cantilevers with dimensions an order of magnitude smaller than conventional cantilevers, i.e., with lengths between 10 and 35 µm, a width of 4 µm, and a thickness of 0.2 µm. The cantilevers are attached to support chips specially tailored for use in a scanning force microscope. The resonance frequencies are 0.2 - 2 MHz, the spring constants about 0.05-1 N/m, and the quality factors 1.5-3.0 × 104. The resulting thermal force noise is 1 -2 × 10-16 N/√Hz at noon temperature in vacuum. These cantilevers allow an enhancement ot the measurement speed of more than one order of magnitude, and 2-5× better force sensitivity. After annealing in ultrahigh vacuum and measuring at liquid helium temperature the thermal force noise of these cantilevers is expected to he further reduced down to 1018 N/√Hz.


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