Nanofabricated tips for device-based scanning tunneling microscopy

Maarten Leeuwenhoek, Richard A. Norte, Koen M. Bastiaans, Doohee Cho, Irene Battisti, Yaroslav M. Blanter, Simon Gröblacher, Milan P. Allan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
90 Downloads (Pure)


We report on the fabrication and performance of a new kind of tip for scanning tunneling microscopy. By fully incorporating a metallic tip on a silicon chip using modern micromachining and nanofabrication techniques, we realize so-called smart tips and show the possibility of device-based STM tips. Contrary to conventional etched metal wire tips, these can be integrated into lithographically defined electrical circuits. We describe a new fabrication method to create a defined apex on a silicon chip and experimentally demonstrate the high performance of the smart tips, both in stability and resolution. In situ tip preparation methods are possible and we verify that they can resolve the herringbone reconstruction and Friedel oscillations on Au(111) surfaces. We further present an overview of possible applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number335702
Number of pages6
Issue number33
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • scanning tunneling microscopy
  • nanofabrication
  • device physics


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