Diamond Probes and Method of Making (24098)

The invention is an ultra-hard, ultra-sharp diamond probe and tip for applications such as AFM and Nano-Lithography. A single stage fabrication process integrates tip and probe chip body as a single contiguous piece of diamond. The invention’s advantages over currently available methods include:

Durable, Wear-Resistant Low Cost Scalable to Arrays Uses both conductive and non-conductive diamond Operates in both fluid or gas Currently available methods entail manually gluing tip to probe. Because the invention molds probe and tip as a single contiguous piece, it eliminates this expensive operation and enables probes to be scalable – fabricated as arrays.

The invention utilizes Nanocrystalline diamond (NCD). In addition to hardness, diamond exhibits very low chemical reactivity, tunable electrical conductibility by selective doping, a low work function, the absence of an oxide layer and excellent thermal conductivity. Some details of the invention can be found at Small, No. 8-9, 866-874.

Applications: Scanning probes used in contact mode. Nano-lithography, including Dip-pen and Fountain Pen NanoLithography. AFM tips (single or array), high-throughput screening, high-speed imaging (in fluid or gas media), conductive AFM potentiometry), nano-lithography, photo-mask repair, biomoleculenano-patterning, scanning probe electrochemisty, scanning thermal microscopy.

Stage of Development:

Fabrication: Lithography has been used to mold continguous diamond probe and tip with metal handling chip body Radii: as low as 30 nm Resolution: molecular ink to a line width of 200 nm Wear: A 25 X improvement over microcrystalline diamond (MCD) films. Stiffness: 3.6 N m-1 for a 1.2 µm thick triangular cantilever; 0.94 N m-1 for a 0.09 µm thick arrow-shaped cantilever. Young’s modulus deduced to be 923 +/-50 Gpa.

Inventor(s): Horacio Espinosa and Nicholaie Moldovan

Type of Offer: Licensing

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