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Common scanning probes with straight cantilevers and micrometer-sized tips are not suited for substrates with very high topography. Therefore, we have developed stressed metal probes that use bent cantilevers and can have a tip height of hundreds of micrometers. The use of a transparent substrate allows the laser beam light to shine through the probe chip in atomic force microscopy (AFM). This letter describes the stressed probe concept and presents first measurements on thin film samples and on the bottom of deep structures. Our probe concept extends the functionality of AFM systems and is an alternative to straight cantilever probes in many applications. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.