Published Research - Department of Chemistry


Date of this Version

April 1999


Published in Nature 398 (April 29, 1999), pp. 761–762; doi 10.1038/19658. Copyright © 1999 Macmillan Magazines Ltd. Used by permission.


Carbon nanotubes, which have intrinsically small diameters and high aspect ratios and which buckle reversibly, make potentially ideal structures for use as tips in scanning probe microscopies, such as atomic force microscopy (AFM)1, 2, 3, 4. However, the present method of mechanically attaching nanotube bundles for tip fabrication is time consuming and selects against the smallest nanotubes, limiting the quality of tips. We have developed a technique for growing individual carbon nanotube probe tips directly, with control over the orientation, by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) from the ends of silicon tips. Tips grown in this way may become widely used in high-resolution probe microscopy imaging.

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