Reverse electrochemical etching method for fabricating ultra-sharp platinum/iridium tips for combined scanning tunneling microscope/atomic force microscope based on a quartz tuning fork

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Meza J.A.M.
Polesel-Maris J.
Lubin C.
Thoyer F.
Makky A.
Ouerghi A.
Cousty J.
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Sharp Pt/Ir tips have been reproducibly etched by an electrochemical process using an inverse geometry of an electrochemical cell and a dedicated electronic device which allows us to control the applied voltages waveform and the intensity of the etching current. Conductive tips with a radius smaller than 10 nm were routinely produced as shown by field emission measurements through Fowler–Nordheim plots.
We wish to thank Laurent Pham-Van (CEA/IRAMIS/SPEC/LEPO) for fruitful discussions on the tip etching process and Sylvain Foucquart (CEA/IRAMIS/NIMBE/LIONS) for his technical assistance. José Antonio Morán Meza would also like to acknowledge financial support from the Peru’s National Council of Science and Technology (Concytec), the Réseau Thématique de Recherche Avancée (RTRA-Triangle de la Physique), and the CEA/Direction des Relations Internationales (DRI).
Palabras clave
Tuning, Atomic force microscopy, Frequency modulation, Platinum, Quartz, Scanning tunneling microscopy, Silicon carbide, AFM, Electrochemical process, Epitaxial graphene, Field emission measurements, Fowler-Nordheim plots, Frequency modulated, STM, Electrochemical etching