Erlangen, Germany
Erlangen, Germany

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Brand U.,Physikalisch - Technische Bundesanstalt | Gao S.,Physikalisch - Technische Bundesanstalt | Engl W.,NanoWorld Services GmbH | Sulzbach T.,NanoWorld Services GmbH | And 4 more authors.
Measurement Science and Technology | Year: 2017

PTB has developed a new contact based method for the traceable calibration of the normal stiffness of AFM cantilevers in the range from 0.03 N m-1 to 300 N m-1 to the SI units based on micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) actuators. This method is evaluated by comparing the measured cantilever stiffness with that measured by PTB's new primary nanonewton force facility and by PTB's microforce measuring device. The MEMS system was used to calibrate the stiffness of cantilevers in two case studies. One set of cantilevers for applications in biophysics was calibrated using the well-known thermal vibration method and the second set of cantilevers was calibrated by a cantilever manufacturer who applied an improved thermal vibration method based on calibrated reference cantilevers for the cantilever stiffness calibration. The comparison revealed a stiffness deviation of +7.7% for the cantilevers calibrated using the thermal vibration method and a deviation of +6.9% for the stiffnesses of the cantilevers calibrated using the improved thermal vibration method. © 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: NMP.2011.1.4-3 | Award Amount: 4.56M | Year: 2012

This project will produce a new tool, the Volumetric Scanning Microwave Microscope (VSMM), for non-destructive 3D nanoscale structural characterisation. Full development of this new tool will take place ready for commercial exploitation within the project duration. The consortium, comprising three SMEs, a Large Company, an RTD Performer and two Research Institutions, will develop and commercialise the VSMM. The VSMM will probe the local reflection and transmission microwave spectroscopy of key materials properties, measuring complex permittivity, conductivity, resistivity, and magnetic response, and hence structural and chemical material constitution with 3D nanoscale resolution. Workpackages will address the technical development of the tool and demonstrate its ability to characterise the 3D structure in situ at the nanoscale with application to relevant real life systems including nanoparticle drug uptake in biological cells, domain structure in ferroelectric devices and trap mechanisms in solar cells. Integrated into this process is ease of use through dedicated work-flows and intuitive real time visualisation for results optimisation and processing. Methods for calibration and provision of traceability are incorporated into the project from the start: this will ensure that VSMM measurements will be quantitatively meaningful and optimised for accuracy and will ensure the most efficient route to commercialisation and uptake of the VSMM. The project aims to produce significant impact for European SMEs, they will benefit both from the market for SPM probe tips and ancillary equipment (e.g. calibration kits) for the VSMM and as end-users. Finally, the fact that the VSMM will utilise SPM cantilever-probe technology will ensure that it is readily compatible with a full range of other SPM-based tools opening up its future role in integrated multi-physical materials characterisation at the nanoscale.


Richter C.,Nanoworld Services GmbH | Weinzierl P.,Nanoworld Services GmbH | Engl W.,Nanoworld Services GmbH | Penzkofer C.,Nanotools GmbH | And 2 more authors.
Microsystem Technologies | Year: 2012

Since the invention in 1986 atomic force microscopy (AFM) has become the most widely used scanning probe microscopy (Binnig et al. in Phys Rev Lett 56:930-933, 1986). The microscope images the interaction of forces like Van der Waals or Coulomb forces between a sample and the apex of a small tip integrated near the free end of a flexible cantilever. But as all other scanning probe techniques the AFM requires serial data acquisition and suffers therefore from a low temporal resolution. Enhancing the speed to video rate imaging makes high demands on scanner technology, control electronics and on the key feature the cantilever with integrated sharp stylus. For the cantilever probes, fundamental resonance frequencies in the MHz regime are envisaged while the force constant of a few nN/nm shall be maintained. We present different novel AFM probes with ultrashort cantilevers and integrated sharp tips for high speed AFM while focusing on widely dispersed applications and on aspects of mass fabrication. © Springer-Verlag 2012.


Becker M.,NanoWorld Services GmbH | Bartenwerfer M.,OFFIS Institute for Information Technology | Eichhorn V.,OFFIS Institute for Information Technology | Krause O.,NanoWorld Services GmbH | Sulzbach T.,NanoWorld Services GmbH
Procedia Engineering | Year: 2012

The atomic force microscope (AFM) has become a standard and wide spread instrument for characterizing nanoscale devices and can be found in most of todaỳs research and development areas. Within the EU-project "NanoBits", exchangeable and customizable scanning probe tips are developed. These NanoBits offer a high level of freedom in adapting the shape and size of the tips to the surface topology of the specific application. In order to exchange the NanoBits without changing the cantilever, a special type of cantilever is developed. This cantilever combines the geometric flexibility of a silicon nitride cantilever with the advantages of a silicon connector platform. Besides the cantilever based connector platform, first results of mounting a NanoBit onto the connector platform are also presented. This mounting results in a fixed connection between NanoBit and connector platform but also allows an exchange of the NanoBit when needed. © 2012 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Munz M.,National Physical Laboratory United Kingdom | Kim J.-H.,Ajou University | Krause O.,NanoWorld Services GmbH | Roy D.,National Physical Laboratory United Kingdom
Surface and Interface Analysis | Year: 2011

Accurate knowledge of the nanoroughness of surfaces is crucial for many applications related to optics, electronics or tribology. Although atomic force microscopy (AFM) can image surfaces with a nanometre spatial resolution, the finite size of standard tips means that pores, pits or grooves with dimensions similar to or smaller than the tip apex will not be accurately imaged. Furthermore, standard tips are made of silicon or silicon nitride and are prone to wear. Mitigation may arise from the availability of AFM tips with a carbon nanotube (CNT) at their foremost end. This study compares the imaging performance of ultrasharp Si tips, CNT AFM tips prepared by a Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) technique, and of CNT AFM tips prepared by a chemical vapour deposition (CVD) technique. The free length of the CNT AFM tips is in the range 80-200 and 600-750 nm, respectively. A polycrystalline niobium film surface is imaged that shows nanoroughness. The measurements demonstrate that CNT AFM tips allow excellent imaging if the scan parameters are adjusted very carefully. Nevertheless, in some cases distortions are found. The measured average grain diameter is 19.9 ± 3.6 nm in the case of a CNT AFM tip made by the LB technique, and 18.0 ± 3.3 nm in the case of a CNT AFM tip made by CVD. In addition to cross-sections of topography images, also the power spectral density (PSD) is analyzed. An empirical approach for the readout of the characteristic length is suggested that involves the first derivative of the decadic logarithm of the PSD. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Lubbe J.,University of Osnabrück | Troger L.,University of Osnabrück | Torbrugge S.,University of Osnabrück | Torbrugge S.,SPECS GmbH | And 5 more authors.
Measurement Science and Technology | Year: 2010

The effective Q-factor of the cantilever is one of the most important figures-of-merit for a non-contact atomic force microscope (NC-AFM) operated in ultra-high vacuum (UHV). We provide a comprehensive discussion of all effects influencing the Q-factor and compare measured Q-factors to results from simulations based on the dimensions of the cantilevers. We introduce a methodology to investigate in detail how the effective Q-factor depends on the fixation technique of the cantilever. Fixation loss is identified as a most important contribution in addition to the hitherto discussed effects and we describe a strategy for avoiding fixation loss and obtaining high effective Q-factors in the force microscope. We demonstrate for room temperature operation, that an optimum fixation yields an effective Q-factor for the NC-AFM measurement in UHV that is equal to the intrinsic value of the cantilever. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Koblischka M.R.,Saarland University | Kirsch M.,Saarland University | Pfeifer R.,Saarland University | Getlawi S.,Saarland University | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials | Year: 2010

Different types of ferrites are employed in the form of thin films as magnetic coating on cantilevers for magnetic force microscopy (MFM) use. This is especially needed for cantilevers employed in high-frequency MFM (HF-MFM), where stray fields of hard disk recording heads are investigated. Our experiments show that we can operate HF-MFM successfully at carrier frequencies up 2 GHz using such ferrite-coated cantilevers. Thin films of two ferrites, NiZnFe2O4 spinel ferrite and Co2 Z-type hexaferrite (Ba3Co2Fe24O41, BCFO) were prepared by RF sputtering. As a basis for these probes, we employ commercial micromachined silicon cantilevers. Additionally, films on Si (1 0 0) and Si (1 1 1)-oriented substrates with a thickness up to 100 nm were prepared for analysis purposes, enabling the optimization of the sputter process. For a high spatial resolution of MFM, however, thinner magnetic coatings are required. Therefore, the third type, c, was prepared by laser-ablation with a thickness of 30 nm, also directly onto the Si without additional buffer layer. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Wain A.J.,National Physical Laboratory United Kingdom | Pollard A.J.,National Physical Laboratory United Kingdom | Richter C.,NanoWorld Services GmbH
Analytical Chemistry | Year: 2014

New cantilever probes for combined scanning electrochemical microscopy-atomic force microscopy (SECM-AFM) have been batch-fabricated, and their application to high resolution electrochemical-topographical imaging has been demonstrated. The conical probes yield outstanding quality Faradaic current maps alongside subnm level topographical information as exemplified by the electrochemical imaging of exfoliated graphene and graphite samples. Current mapping reveals significant heterogeneities in the electroactivity of these carbon surfaces that do not directly correlate to topographical features, suggesting the presence of adsorbed chemical contaminants or intrinsic impurities. © 2014 American Chemical Society.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.3.9 | Award Amount: 3.24M | Year: 2010

The atomic force microscope (AFM) has become a standard and wide spread instrument for characterizingnanoscale devices and can be found in most of todays research and development areas. The NanoBitsproject provides exchangeable and customizable scanning probe tips that can be attached to standard AFMcantilevers offering an unprecedented freedom in adapting the shape and size of the tips to the surfacetopology of the specific application. NanoBits themselves are 2-4 m long and 120-150 nm thin flakes ofheterogeneous materials fabricated in different approaches. These novel tips will allow for characterizing threedimensional high-aspect ratio and sidewall structures of critical dimensions such as nanooptical photoniccomponents and semiconductor architectures which is a bottle-neck in reaching more efficient manufacturingtechniques. It is thus an enabling approach for almost all future nanoscale applications.A miniaturized robotic microsystem combining innovative nanosensors and actuators will be used to explorenew strategies of micro-nano-integration in order to realize a quick exchange of NanoBits. For the fabricationof the NanoBits, two different techniques are proposed. On the one hand, a standard silicon processingtechnique enables batch fabrication of various NanoBits designs defined by electron beam lithography. On theother hand, focused ion beam milling can be used to structure a blank of heterogeneous materials, the socallednembranes. Novel scanning modes in atomic force microscopy will be developed to take full advantageof the different NanoBits geometries and to realize AFM imaging of critical dimension structures. Theinnovative nanoimaging capabilities will be applied to characterize and develop novel nanooptical photonicstructures in the wavelength or even sub-wavelength range and TERS applications in the nanomaterial andbiomedical sector. Especially the involved SMEs will exploit and disseminate the results to potential users torealize a more efficient micro-and nanomanufacturing.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: NMP.2012.1.4-3 | Award Amount: 4.33M | Year: 2013

Knowing the mechanical properties of workpieces and machine-tools also at the nanometer scale is an absolute necessity for an efficient nanoscale production. Current technologies are lacking the flexibility and robustness needed for measuring such key parameters as topography, morphology, roughness, adhesion, or micro- and nano-hardness directly in a production environment. This hinders rapid development cycles and resource efficient process and quality control. The following technology and methodology gaps for addressing these challenges were identified: Efficient disturbance rejection and systems stability; robustness and longevity of probes; short time to data (i.e. high-speed measurements and data handling); and traceability of the measurement. The project aim4np strives at solving this problem by combining measuring techniques developed in nanoscience with novel control techniques from mechatronics and procedures from traceable metrology. Goal and Deliverable The main deliverable will be a fast robotic metrology platform and operational procedures for measuring with nanometer resolution and in a traceable way the topography, morphology, roughness, micro- and nano-hardness, and adhesive properties of large samples in a production environment.

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