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29 July 2004 Ultrasharp high-aspect-ratio probe array for SECM and AFM Analysis
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A powerful experimental tool, ultra-sharp nano-electrode array is designed, fabricated and characterized. The application on a combination of Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy (SECM) and the Atomic Force Microcopy (AFM) is demonstrated. It can measure sample electrochemically initiated by SECM changes of topography while detecting topography using AFM. In order to realize this, a specialized probe system that is composed of a micro-mechanical bending structure necessary for the AFM mode and an electrochemical UME-tip required for a high performance SECM is crucial. The probe array is a row of silicon transducers embedded in silicon nitride cantilever array. The sharp high-aspect ratio (20:1) silicon tips are shaped and a thin layer of silicon nitride is deposited, which embeds the silicon tips in a silicon nitride layer so that they protrude through the nitride. Thus, the embedded silicon tips with a diameter less than 600 nm, the top radius less than 20 nm, and the aspect ratio as high as 20 can be achieved. A metal layer and an insulator layer are deposited on these tip structures to make each probe selectively conductive. Finally, cantilever structures are shaped and released by etching the silicon substrate from the backside. Electrochemical and impedance spectroscopic characterization show electrochemical functionality of the transducer system.
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Ye Tao, Rainer J. Fasching, and Fritz B. Prinz "Ultrasharp high-aspect-ratio probe array for SECM and AFM Analysis", Proc. SPIE 5389, Smart Structures and Materials 2004: Smart Electronics, MEMS, BioMEMS, and Nanotechnology, (29 July 2004);

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