CONDUCTIVE AFM PROBES

Though silicon is conducting in bulk due to the presence of the dopants, the surface of the probe is always coated by a thin (1 - 2 nm) native oxide film. That is why using the conductivity of Si probes for AFM measurements is only possible in UHV conditions after the film is removed.

For imaging of electric properties of materials in ambient conditions, probes with special conducting coatings are usually used.

Height and phase images of the rubber-modified isotactic polypropylene filled with carbon black. The images were obtained in Electric Force Microscopy mode using NSC14 probes coated with Pt. Images courtesy of S. Magonov (Veeco).



Probes

dpe (low-noise) probes
Probes of the DPE series have a special structure of conducting layers applied to the tip that provides better signal to noise ratio on the scans of electric properties.
  • 8 nm
  • 8 nm
  • < 40 nm
  • 40°
  • 12 - 18 µm
  • n-type silicon
  • 0.01 - 0.025 Ohm*cm
  • Platinum
  • Platinum
dper probes
The DPER probes are made by depositing a thin Pt coating on Si tips. While the thickness of the coating on the flat cantilever surface is about 20 nm, there is only 10 nm increase of the tip dimensions compared to the bare Si probes.
  • 8 nm
  • 8 nm
  • < 20 nm
  • 40°
  • 12 - 18 µm
  • n-type silicon
  • 0.01 - 0.025 Ohm*cm
  • Platinum
  • Platinum
pt coated probes
Probes with overall conductive chemically inert 30 nm Pt coating. Resulting probe tip radius is below 30 nm.
  • 8 nm
  • 8 nm
  • < 30 nm
  • 40°
  • 12 - 18 µm
  • n-type silicon
  • 0.01 - 0.025 Ohm*cm
  • Platinum
  • Platinum
cr-au coated probes
Probes with overall conductive chemically inert 30 nm Au coating with 20 nm Cr sublayer on the tip and back side of the cantilever. Resulting tip radius is below 50 nm.
  • 8 nm
  • 8 nm
  • < 35 nm
  • 40
  • 12 - 18 µm
  • n-type silicon
  • 0.01 - 0.025 Ohm*cm
  • Gold
  • Gold

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