Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

AFM tips from the microwave: Chemists improve process for making sharp atomic force microscopy tips

Date:
October 21, 2010
Source:
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Summary:
Scientists in Germany have improved a fabrication process for atomic force microscopy (AFM) probe tips. Atomic Force Microscopy is able to scan surfaces so that even tiniest nano structures become visible. Knowledge about these structures is for instance important for the development of new materials and carrier systems for active substances. The size of the probe is highly important for the image quality as it limits the dimensions that can be visualized – the smaller the probe, the smaller the structures that are revealed.

Dr. Stephanie Hoeppener is working with a atomic force microscope for which a Jena researcher team has developed a new procedure allowing to produce sharper probes.
Credit: Jan-Peter Kasper/University Jena

Scientists from the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena (Germany) have improved a fabrication process for atomic force microscopy (AFM) probe tips.

Atomic force microscopy is able to scan surfaces so that even tiniest nano structures become visible. Knowledge about these structures is for instance important for the development of new materials and carrier systems for active substances. The size of the probe is highly important for the image quality as it limits the dimensions that can be visualized -- the smaller the probe, the smaller the structures that are revealed.

Carbon nanotubes are supposed to be a superior material for the improvement of such scanning probes. However, it is difficult to attach them on scanning probes, which limits their practical use.

Chemists of the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena found a way to overcome these problems. The research team of Prof. Dr. Ulrich S. Schubert succeeded in developing a new type of process that allows the growth of carbon nanotubes on the actual scanning probe. These innovative discoveries are published in the journal Nano Letters.

For this process the Jena scientists are using microwave radiation for a gentle but very fast growth of the nanotubes. The growth starts at small cobalt particles, that are being taken up with the help of the AFM tip. "The metal particles strongly heat up in the microwave and reach a temperature that is sufficient to convert alcohol vapor into carbon. The heating process works similar like a forgotten spoon in the kitchen microwave which also absorbs the microwave radiation very effectively," explains Tamara Druzhinina from Schubert`s research team. "Carbon nanotubes can be grown very quickly due to the special conditions inside of the microwave which can generate a pressure up to 20 bar" adds her colleague Dr. Stephanie Hoeppener.

The Jena chemist Prof. Schubert points out the practical benefits of the process: "The method we developed can potentially result in a very cost-efficient production technology of for instance high resolution probes for Scanning Force Microscopy. These are already available on the market but they are very expensive at 350 Euro each. With the process we can reach a price level, that would justify the use of such tips also just for routine measurements."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tamara S. Druzhinina, Stephanie Hoeppener, Ulrich S. Schubert. Microwave-Assisted Fabrication of Carbon Nanotube AFM Tips. Nano Letters, 2010; 10 (10): 4009 DOI: 10.1021/nl101934j

Cite This Page:

Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. "AFM tips from the microwave: Chemists improve process for making sharp atomic force microscopy tips." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101021104739.htm>.
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. (2010, October 21). AFM tips from the microwave: Chemists improve process for making sharp atomic force microscopy tips. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101021104739.htm
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. "AFM tips from the microwave: Chemists improve process for making sharp atomic force microscopy tips." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101021104739.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City has also been revealed at the auto show. (Apr. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) — It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins