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A new conception of cantilever array-based microplasma nanoetching and atomic force microscopy (AFM) morphology inspection in the same system is proposed in this Letter. A cantilever probe integrated with microplasma reactor and SiO2 cantilever array with hollow pyramid tip are successfully fabricated. The experiment results show that the microplasma reactor can discharge stably in CHF3/Ar mixtures, and V-I characteristics of the microdischarges are in hollow cathode discharge mode. AFM imaging experiments using the cantilever probe with the microplasma reactor is performed and sample surface morphology with nano-scaled resolution is inspected. The results of this Letter may lay a foundation for the future work of plasma parallel nanofabrication and AFM morphology inspection in the same system.
Date of Publication: June 2012