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Tip Fabrication for Scanning Tunneling Microscopy

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000037446D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-29
Document File: 1 page(s) / 11K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Hamers, RJ: AUTHOR

Abstract

An ideal tip can be fabricated for scanning tunneling microscopy by forming the tip of tungsten and plating the tip with other metals or alloys to obtain the desired properties.

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Tip Fabrication for Scanning Tunneling Microscopy

An ideal tip can be fabricated for scanning tunneling microscopy by forming the tip of tungsten and plating the tip with other metals or alloys to obtain the desired properties.

Tungsten is etched to produce a non-bending, fine point, such as 500-1000 Ao radius. After etching, the electro-chemical oxide is removed, as with dilute hydrofluoric acid at 700oC, and thin layers of the desired selected metals (gold, platinum or iridium) electrochemically deposited on the tip. Although only 30-50 Ao are required, the deposition of a few hundred Angstrom units allows for possible thickness variations. If electrodeposition is used, the highest electric field occurs at the tip where the preferred deposition occurs. Should single crystal tips be required, electrodeposition may be followed by an anisotropic chemical etch to reveal particular chemical planes at the tip.

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