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  • Boris Gross

E-beam lithography at the tip of a scanning probe

On Friday the 3rd, AIP Advances published our paper entitled, Electron-beam lithography of nanostructures at the tips of scanning probe cantilevers. The paper describes a process for fabricating nanoscale metallic gate electrodes on scanning probe cantilevers, including on the irregular surface of protruding cantilever tips.

The process includes a floating-layer technique to coat the cantilevers in an electron-beam resist. We demonstrate gate definition through both a lift-off process and an etching process. Importantly, the cantilevers retain their high force sensitivity after patterning. Our method allows for the fabrication of nanoscale devices on fragile scanning probes, extending their functionality as sensors.

The research was carried out by Ph.D. students Luca Forrer and Aurèle Kamber. Research scientist Dr. Floris Braakman led the team, which collaborated with Dr. Armin Knoll from IBM Zürich.

Here’s a video by Christel Moeller at the SNI on the work:

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