Fabrication and buckling dynamics of nanoneedle AFM probes

James D Beard, Sergey N Gordeev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (SciVal)


A new method for the fabrication of high-aspect-ratio probes by electron beam induced deposition is described. This technique allows the fabrication of cylindrical 'nanoneedle' structures on the atomic force microscope (AFM) probe tip which can be used for accurate imaging of surfaces with high steep features. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) imaging showed that needles with diameters in the range of 18-100 nm could be obtained by this technique. The needles were shown to undergo buckling deformation under large tip-sample forces. The deformation was observed to recover elastically under vertical deformations of up to similar to 60% of the needle length, preventing damage to the needle. A technique of stabilizing the needle against buckling by coating it with additional electron beam deposited carbon was also investigated; it was shown that coated needles of 75 nm or greater total diameter did not buckle even under tip-sample forces of similar to 1.5 mu N.
Original languageEnglish
Article number175303
Number of pages8
Issue number17
Early online date16 Mar 2011
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2011


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