Facile Preparation of a Platinum Silicide Nanoparticle-Modified Tip Apex for Scanning Kelvin Probe Microscopy
We report on the fabrication of electrically conducting, ultra-sharp, high-aspect ratio probes for atomic force microscopy by electron-beam-induced deposition of platinum. Probes of 4.0 ±1.0 nm radius-of-curvature are routinely produced with high repeatability and near-100% yield. Contact-mode topographical imaging of the granular nature of a sputtered gold surface is used to assess the imaging performance of the probes, and the derived power spectral density plots are used to quantify the enhanced sensitivity as a function of spatial frequency. The ability of the probes to reproduce high aspect-ratio features is illustrated by imaging a close-packed array of nanospheres. The electrical resistance of the probes is measured to be of order 100 kΩ.