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Manufacture of High Aspect Ratio Carbon Nanotube Atomic Force Microscopy Probes Y.N. Emirov, J.D. Schumacher, M. M. Beerbom, B. Lagel, B.B. Rossie, and R. Schlaf, University of South Florida Carbon nanotubes (CNT) are promising candidates for high aspect ratio atomic force microscopy (AFM) probes due to their exceptional mechanical properties. Applications in sub 100 nm critical dimension metrology are among the envisioned uses for such probes. The challenge for the preparation of CNT AFM probes lies in the precise placement of one well-defined CNT at the end of a regular Si cantilever tip fitting commercially available AFM equipment. This CNT needs to have a well-defined diameter, length and orientation, tailored for the structures to be characterized. We report about our recent progress in developing a manufacturing process for such CNT probes. Our process is based on CNT growth by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD), which uses a catalyst to induce CNT growth. The need for a catalyst enables the specified placement and the definition of the diameter of the grown CNTs. Our method uses the focused ion beam (FIB) and electron beam lithography (EBL) techniques in combination with thin film catalyst deposition techniques to define the catalyst patterns.
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