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 October 20, 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 October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gulfstream G500, G600 Unveiling

Gulfstream G500, G600 Unveiling

Flying (Oct. 20, 2014) — Watch Gulfstream's public launch of the G500 and G600 at their headquarters in Savannah, Ga., along with a surprise unveiling of the G500, which taxied up under its own power. Video provided by Flying
Powered by NewsLook.com
Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 20, 2014) — Scientists in Tokyo have demonstrated what they say is the world's first 3D projection that floats in mid air. A laser that fires a pulse up to a thousand times a second superheats molecules in the air, creating a spark which can be guided to certain points in the air to shape what the human eye perceives as an image. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

3BL Media (Oct. 20, 2014) — Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-fuel Impala Video provided by 3BL
Powered by NewsLook.com
What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — Microsoft will reportedly release a smartwatch that works across different mobile platforms, has a two-day battery life and tracks heart rate. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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