Systematic study of electropolishing technique for improving the quality and production reproducibility of tungsten STM probe

Bing Feng Ju, Yuan Liu Chen, Mingming Fu, Ye Chen, Yunhai Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Based on the systematic study of electropolishing process, an improved tungsten STM probe fabrication technique has been presented. The proper combination of pulse current and the electrolyte concentration is explored for the elimination of impurities and achieves high quality probes with ultra-smooth surfaces. An optimized immersion depth of tungsten wire in electrolyte is proposed for the purpose of realizing the probe with sharp apex as well as high aspect ratio structure. A control strategy for determining the power-off instant during the procedure of electropolishing is developed which will facilitate the fabrication of probe with exponential contour as well as ultrasharp tip. The proposed technique and process are experimentally confirmed to have advantages for the STM probe fabrication of the stabilized stylus contour, typically with apex radius of 30 nm and the yield rate reaches as high as 85%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-144
Number of pages9
JournalSensors and Actuators, A: Physical
Volume155
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Oct 1

Keywords

  • Apex radius
  • Electropolishing
  • High aspect ratio
  • Immersion depth
  • Power-off control strategy
  • STM probe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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