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Browse Prior Art Database

Tip Arrays for STM, AFM, SXM: Microscopy and Manufacturing Applications

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000109157D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-23
Document File: 1 page(s) / 50K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Kaufman, JH: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Future use of Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (or SXM in general) to manufacture and test applications will most likely require development of Arrays of Tips to scan or modify large substrate areas at high speeds. The tunnel current and tip deflection must be monitored and controlled at each tip independently.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 78% of the total text.

Tip Arrays for STM, AFM, SXM: Microscopy and Manufacturing Applications

      Future use of Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (or SXM in general)
to manufacture and test applications will most likely require
development of Arrays of Tips to scan or modify large substrate areas
at high speeds.  The tunnel current and tip deflection must be
monitored and controlled at each tip independently.

      One manufacturable path to producing such a tip array using
techniques proven today is Low Temperature Si CVD epitaxy on an
intrinsic silicon substrate, CVD epitaxial silicon is grown in
alternating p-doped and intrinsic i-Si (or n-doped and intrinsic)
layers.  To avoid diffusion into the i-Si layer a compensated barrier
(n-type for the p-doped tips or p-type for the n-doped tips) can be
used.  The thickness of the doped layers determines the gross
thickness of the tips, and the number of such layers determines the
number of tips.

      The i-Si spacer layers are then selectively etched exposing the
doped tips.  The multilayer structure is then cleaved and
piezoelectic material deposited on each tip using lithographic
techniques.  The entire structure is then mounted on a large Piezo
(for coarse translation) and electrical contacts are deposited with
lithography.  The Si tips can be made as thin as 100-200 angstroms
and as long as 1000 angstroms.  Silicon is sufficiently elastic to
allow independent motion of these tips.  Note that the etching
process of the i-Si i...