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Carbon Nanotube Probes (CNP) for high resolution imaging

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BrukerApplications posted on Tue, May 4 2010 10:31 AM

I am using carbon nanotube AFM probe for high resolution AFM imaging of inorganic thin film material. But the carbon nanutube AFM probe is apt to break while approaching the sample surface before the imaging process begin.
May be the carbon nanotube AFM probe is fragile comparing with silicon/SiN AFM tips.

Does anyone has some experience to solve this issue?

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Bruker Employee

Carbon nanotube tips are notoriously difficult and temperamental. You are correct that despite the wonderful properties of carbon nanotubes, their application on AFM probes leaves them quite fragile. Examples of using them to successfully improve the resolution over very careful tapping are few.


Before going to nT tips I would recommend you revisit your Tapping settings to make sure you are doing the lightest of tapping with the softest of engages in order to preserve your tip sharpness. We have found that Si tips, as produced, are far sharper that what images reflect, and this is due to the apex not being able to withstand the imaging forces.


You should also try our new mode Peak Force Tapping. The mode is a paradigm shift in imaging and enables one to do dynamic imaging at far lower forces, and at with cantilevers with far lower spring constants. Our customers are already getting data that shows dramatically enhanced resolution because the ~10x lower force protects tip sharpness. Check out: B073-RevA0-PeakForce_QNM-Brochure_HiRes.pdf or contact me direct to see lots of additional data.



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