Growth and morphology control of carbon nanotubes at the apexes of pyramidal silicon tips

Edgeworth, J.P., Burt, D.P., Dobson, P.S. , Weaver, J.M.R. and Macpherson, J.V. (2010) Growth and morphology control of carbon nanotubes at the apexes of pyramidal silicon tips. Nanotechnology, 21(10), (doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/21/10/105605)

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We describe the development of catalysed chemical vapour deposition (cCVD) growth schemes suitable for the production of carbon nanotube atomic force microscopy (CNT-AFM) probes. Growth and sample processing conditions are utilized that both incorporate safety in the process, e.g. the use of ethanol (EtOH) vapour as a carbon feedstock and hydrogen at only 4% (flow proportion), and simplicity, e. g. no catalyst patterning is required. Cobalt is employed as the growth catalyst and thin films of aluminium on silicon as the substrate material. Purpose-fabricated silicon substrates containing large numbers of tip structures are used as models of AFM probes. This enables growth to be carried out on many tips at once, facilitating a thorough investigation of the effect of different growth schemes on yields. cCVD growth schemes are chosen which produce stabilizing high density networks of carbon nanotubes on the sidewalls of the pyramidal tips to aid in anchoring the apex protruding carbon nanotube(s) in place. This results in long-lasting AFM imaging tips. We demonstrate that through rational tailoring of cCVD conditions it is possible to tune the growth conditions such that CNTs which protrude straight from tip apexes can be obtained at yields of greater than or equal to 78%. Application of suitable growth schemes to CNT growth on commercially available AFM probes resulted in CNT-AFM probes which were found to be extremely useful for extended lifetime metrological profiling of complex structures

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:AFM probes, atomic-force microscopy, buffer layer, chemical-vapor-deposition, electron-microscopy, fabrication, films, force, metal-catalysts, model, physics, resolution, scanning probe microscopy, silicon, substrate, youngs modulus
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Burt, Dr David and Weaver, Professor Jonathan and Dobson, Dr Phil
Authors: Edgeworth, J.P., Burt, D.P., Dobson, P.S., Weaver, J.M.R., and Macpherson, J.V.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Electronics and Nanoscale Engineering
Journal Name:Nanotechnology
Published Online:16 February 2010

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