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Ultramicroscopy. 2011 Jul;111(8):973-81. doi: 10.1016/j.ultramic.2011.02.001. Epub 2011 Feb 16.

Optimized hand fabricated AFM probes for simultaneous topographical and electrochemical tapping mode imaging.

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  • 1Laboratoire d'Electrochimie Moléculaire, Unité Mixte de Recherche Université-CNRS No. 7591, Université Paris Diderot (Paris 7), 15 rue Jean-Antoine de Baïf, 75205 Paris Cedex 13, France.


In this work hybrid AFM-electrochemical (SECM) probes to be used in dynamic atomic force microscopy are presented. These nanosensors are hand fabricated from gold microwires using a simple benchtop method. They display proportions close to commercially available silicon and silicon nitride cantilevers giving comparable performance in terms of resolution and imaging stability. The remarkable characteristic of these hybrid nanosensors is that they allow the coupling of 3D imaging ability and versatility of atomic force microscopy with the power of electrochemical methods. Local measurement of electrochemical-activity of a test sample consisting of gold bands functionalized by redox-labeled nanometer-sized polyethylene glycol chains has been achieved with simultaneous imaging of the 3D surface topography at high resolution. These hybrid AFM-SECM tips are capable of sensing local electrochemical currents down to ∼ 10 fA emphasizing the sensitivity and resolution of this technique.

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