The fabrication of specialized probes for surface metrology
Williams, Ryan Donald, 1981-
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This dissertation will demonstrate the synergy of nanoscopic materials and surface metrology methods by the fabrication and implementation of CNT atomic force microscopy (AFM) tips, CNT scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) tips, Pt spike AFM tips, and Pt spike near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM) tips for the methods of critical dimension metrology, STM, AFM phase imaging, scanning surface potential AFM (SSPM), NSOM, and three-dimensional AFM. Chapter 1 provides a general overview of the information that will be discussed in this dissertation. Chapter 2 describes two methods for the simultaneous fabrication of carbon nanotube atomic force microscopy and scanning tunneling microscopy probes. The fabrication of these high resolution probes, as well as their imaging characteristics, is described in detail. Resolution standards were used to characterize their behavior and resolution limits. In Chapter 3, the effect of high aspect ratio probe length on AFM phase imaging is studied by fabricating highly controllable Pt spike AFM tips. By monitoring phase shifts on homogenous surfaces as a function of Pt spike length, it is shown that attractive forces at the tip are significantly reduced when high aspect ratio structures are added to conventional AFM probes. In Chapter 4, the effect of probe geometry on scanning surface potential microscopy (SSPM) is described. By studying the effect of scan height in SSPM, it was found that large surface area probe geometries, such as conventional Pt coated AFM tips, have lower surface potential resolution because of contributions from the sides of the tip as well as the cantilever. Spatial resolution standards were probed to evaluate the effect of probe geometry on SSPM sensitivity and resolution. Chapter 5 describes the fabrication of specialized probes for three-dimensional atomic force microscopy, scanning near-field optical microscopy, and scanning electrochemical -- atomic force microscopy (SECM-AFM). Using techniques described in Chapters 2-4, high aspect ratio structures were added to conventional probes used in 3D AFM, NSOM and SECM-AFM to solve limitations inherent to current probe designs for each method. Preliminary data indicates that each probe will have a significant beneficial effect on the resolution limit of its technique.