TITLE

Improved atomic force microscope images using microcantilevers with sharp tips

AUTHOR(S)
Akamine, S.; Barrett, R. C.; Quate, C. F.
PUB. DATE
July 1990
SOURCE
Applied Physics Letters;7/16/1990, Vol. 57 Issue 3, p316
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Novel force-sensing microcantilevers with sharp tips have been used to obtain atomic force microscope images of atomically flat, layered compounds as well as microfabricated samples with large-scale topographies. When imaging atomically flat samples using cantilevers with sharp protruding tips, atomic corrugations are observed more consistently and with a higher signal-to-noise ratio than in the absence of tips. Some asymmetric distortions arise when tipped cantilevers are used with forces larger than 10-7 N. Side by side comparisons of images of rough samples obtained using cantilevers with and without tips reveal that the presence of a sharp tip yields superior image quality of vertical features and trenches. The cantilever assembly is a microfabricated, silicon nitride cantilever with an integral, single-crystal silicon tip. The silicon tip is self-aligned to the end of the cantilever and is created by a process which simultaneously fabricates and sharpens the silicon tip. Initial transmission electron microscopy studies show that the single-crystal silicon tips have radii of curvature of 220–400 Å.
ACCESSION #
9834395

 

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