Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tailored probes for atomic force microscopes

11.08.2016

3-D laser lithography enhances microscope for studying nanostructures in biology and engineering/ publication in Applied Physics Letters

Atomic force microscopes make the nanostructure of surfaces visible. Their probes scan the investigation material with finest measurement needles. KIT has now succeeded in adapting these needles to the application.


Optimally adapted probes for atomic force microscopes can now be produced by 3-D nanoprinting at KIT.

Photos: KIT

For any measurement task, e.g. for various biological samples, a suitable measurement needle can be produced. For production, 3D laser lithography, i.e. a 3D printer of structures in the nanometer size, is applied. This success has made it to the title page of the Applied Physics Letters journal. DOI: 10.1063/1.4960386

Atomic force microscopes are used to analyze surfaces down to the atomic level. The standard probes that have been applied for this purpose so far, however, are not suited for every use. Some examination objects require a special shape or a very long probe to scan deep depressions of the material. KIT researchers have now succeeded in producing probes that are optimally adapted to special requirements.

"Biological surfaces, such as the petals of tulips or roses, frequently have very deep structures with high hills," says Hendrik Hölscher, Head of the Scanning Probe Technologies Group of KIT's Institute of Microstructure Technology. Commercially available probes typically are 15 micrometers, i.e. 15 thousandths of a millimeter, high, pyramid-shaped, and relatively wide, the physicist points out. Probes with other shapes are offered, but have to be produced manually, which makes them very expensive.

The KIT researchers have now succeeded in producing by means of 3D laser lithography tailored probes of any shape with a radius of 25 nanometers only, corresponding to 25 millionths of a millimeter. This process can be used to design and print in three dimensions any shape desired and has been known in the macroscopic area for some time already. On the nanoscale, this approach is highly complex. To obtain the three-dimensional structures desired, the researchers use the 3D lithography process developed by KIT and commercialized by Nanoscribe, a spinoff of KIT. This method is based on two-photon polymerization: Strongly focused laser pulses are applied to harden light-sensitive materials after the desired structures have been produced. The hardened structures are then separated from the surrounding, non-exposed material. "In this way, the perfect probe can be produced for any sample to be studied," Hölscher explains.

Use of this process for enhancing atomic force microscopy is reported by the researchers in the Applied Physics Letters journal under the heading "Tailored probes for atomic force microscopy fabricated by two-photon polymerization". The probes that can be produced in any shape can be placed on conventional, commercially available measurement needles and are hardly subject to wear. They are perfectly suited for studying biological samples, but also technical and optical components in the range od nanometers.

###

Research was financed by the German Research Foundation, a Starting Grant and a Senior Grant of the European Research Council (ERC), funds of the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach Foundation, and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research under the PHOIBOS project. In addition, work was supported by the "Karlsruhe Nano-Micro Facility" (KNMF) of KIT.

Gerald Göring, Philipp-Immanuel Dietrich, Matthias Blaicher, Swati Sharma, Jan G. Korvink, Thomas Schimmel, Christian Koos, and Hendrik Hölscher: Tailored probes for atomic force microscopy fabricated by two-photon polymerization. Applied Physics Letters. DOI 10.1063/1.4960386.

For further information, please contact: Kosta Schinarakis, PKM - Science Scout, Phone: +49 721 608 41956, Fax: +49 721 608 43658, E-mail: schinarakis@kit.edu

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) pools its three core tasks of research, higher education, and innovation in a mission. With about 9,300 employees and 25,000 students, KIT is one of the big institutions of research and higher education in natural sciences and engineering in Europe.

KIT - The Research University in the Helmholtz Association

Since 2010, the KIT has been certified as a family-friendly university.

This press release is available on the internet at http://www.kit.edu.

Media Contact

Monika Landgraf
presse@kit.edu
49-721-608-47414

 @KITKarlsruhe

http://www.kit.edu/index.php 

Monika Landgraf | EurekAlert!

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Heating quantum matter: A novel view on topology
22.08.2017 | Université libre de Bruxelles

nachricht Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form
18.08.2017 | Cornell University

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease

22.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Meter-sized single-crystal graphene growth becomes possible

22.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>