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Two step optimized process for scanning tunneling microscopy tip fabrication

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4 Author(s)
Bastiman, F. ; Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Sheffield, Mappin Street, Sheffield S1 3JD, United Kingdom ; Cullis, A.G. ; Hopkinson, M. ; Briston, K.J.

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Fabrication of ultrasharp tips for scanning tunneling microscopy is inherently a two-step procedure, typically involving an etch process and postetch cleaning. From the myriad of etching parameters available in literature a procedure is presented that allows quantitative optimization and the routine production of tips with 3–10 nm radius of curvature. These ideally shaped tips require final oxide removal. Utilizing a custom designed e-beam heater element, oxide removal without localized melting is realized.

Published in:

Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B: Microelectronics and Nanometer Structures  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 2 )