Miniaturized Single-Crystal Silicon Cantilevers for Scanning Force Microscopy

Copyright © (2005) American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics

We report on a method to reproducibly batch-fabricate single-crystal silicon cantilevers with dimensions an order of magnitude smaller than conventional cantilevers, i.e. , with lengths between 10 and 35 um, a width of 4 um, and a thickness of 0.2 um. The cantilevers are attached to support chips specially tailored for use in a scanning force microscope. The resonance frequencies are 0.2-2 MHz, the spring constants about 0.05-1 N/m, and the quality factors 1.5-3.0 times 10**4. The resulting thermal force noise is 1-2 times 10**(-16) N/Hz**(1/2) at room temperature in vacuum. These cantilevers allow an enhancement of the measurement speed of more than one order of magnitude, and 2 to 5 times better force sensitivity. After annealing in ultra-high vacuum and measuring at liquid helium temperature, the thermal force noise of these cantilevers is expected to be further reduced down to 10**(-18) N/Hz**(1/2).

By: J.L. Yang; Michel Despont; Ute Drechsler; B.W. Hoogenboom; P.L.T.M. Frederix; S. Martin; A. Engel; Peter Vettiger; H.J. Hug

Published in: Applied Physics Letters, volume 86, (no 13), pages 134101 in 2005

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