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Rev Sci Instrum. 2010 Sep;81(9):093707. doi: 10.1063/1.3477996.

Atomic force microscopy imaging using a tip-on-chip: opening the door to integrated near field nanotools.

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UMR 5819 SPrAM (CEA-CNRS-UJF), CEA-Grenoble, INAC, 17 Rue des Martyrs, 38054 Grenoble Cedex 9, France.


We describe in detail how atomic force microscopy (AFM) images can be routinely achieved with macroscopic silicon-based chips integrating mesoscopic tips, paving the way for the development of new near field devices combining AFM imaging with any kind of functionality integrated on a chip. The chips have been glued at the end of the free prong of 100 kHz quartz tuning forks mounted in Qplus configuration. Numerical simulations by modal analysis have been carried out to clarify the nature of the vibration modes observed in the experimental spectra. It is shown that two low frequency modes can be used to drive the system and scan the surface with a great stability in amplitude modulation as well as in frequency modulation AFM under ultrahigh vacuum. The AFM capabilities are demonstrated through a series of examples including phase and dissipation contrast imaging, force spectroscopy measurements, and investigations of soft samples in weak interaction with the substrate. The lateral resolution with the tips grown by focused ion beam deposition already matches the one achieved in standard amplitude modulation mode AFM experiments.


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