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Direct Fabrication of Nanoscale Light Emitting Diode on Silicon Probe Tip for Scanning Microscopy

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4 Author(s)

We have fabricated a silicon microprobe integrated with a nanometer-sized light emitting diode (Nano-LED) on the tip. This paper describes the fabrication procedure and preliminary topographic testing results. The silicon probe with electrode pattern was made by wet-etching a silicon-on-insulator wafer using oxide as the mask. Subsequently, the probe tip was cut using a focused ion beam (FIB) to form a 150 nm-wide gap. Semiconductor nanoparticles (CdSe/ZnS core-shell nanoparticles) were electrostatically trapped and excited within the electrode gap made on the probe tip. The LED-tip is approximately 150 nm 150 nm. The nano-LED light intensity and current were measured as a function of the driving voltage up to 25 V. In addition to the electroluminescence peaks from the CdSe particles, possible emission from silicon dioxide doped in the FIB milling process was also observed in the measured spectra. Basic mechanical characteristics of the silicon probe were measured by mounting the probe on a tuning fork in a standard near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM) set up. It was observed that the drag force reduces the probe oscillation as the vibrating tip approached the near-field of the sample surface. The topographic images of a chromium test pattern on a glass substrate were successfully acquired by keeping the probe tip within roughly 5 nm from the sample surface. Although the probe tip shape and the location of the Nano-LED are yet to be further optimized before realizing near-field optical scanning experiment, the result showed its great promise as a new type of NSOM tip with the ldquoon-proberdquo light-source.

Published in:

Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 1 )