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High-resolution constant-height imaging with apertured silicon cantilever probes

: Dziomba, T.; Danzebrink, H.U.; Lehrer, C.; Frey, L.; Sulzbach, T.; Ohlsson, O.


Journal of microscopy 202 (2001), pp.22
ISSN: 0022-2720
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IIS B ( IISB) ()

We present high-resolution aperture probes based on noncontact silicon atomic force microscopy (AFM) cantilevers for simultaneous APM and near-infrared scanning near-field optical microscopy (SNOM). For use in near-field optical microscopy, conventional AFM cantilevers are modified by covering their tip side with an opaque aluminium layer. To fabricate an aperture, this metal layer is opened at the end of the polyhedral probe using focused ion beams (FIB). Here we show that apertures of less than 50 nm can be obtained using this technique, which actually yield a resolution of about 50 nm, corresponding to lambda /20 at the wavelength used. To exclude artefacts induced by distance control, we work in constant-height mode. Our attention is particularly focused on the distance dependence of resolution and to the influence of slight cantilever bending on the optical images when scanning at such low scan heights, where first small attractive forces exerted on the cantilever become detectable.