MICROSCOPY Vol.47▶No.1 2012
■Feature Articles: Frontier of Advanced Scanning Probe Microscopy for Materials Research

Development of a Pencil-Type Scanning Probe Microscope

Masahiko Tomitori

Abstract: We develop a compact scanning probe microscope (SPM), named a pencil-type SPM, which can be installed into a commercial-available superhigh-resolution in-lens cold-cathode field-emission scanning electron microscope (SEM). Here we demonstrate their combined performance utilizing their outstanding features. While observing SEM image, we prepare a Ge-deposited Pt-It tip, and bring it in touch with a W filament heated at about 1400°C, resulting in a bridge of melting Ge between the tip and the W filament; the Ge bridge gets wet well with the filament. We draw them apart, and observe the solidification and crystallization of the Ge on the tip side at lower temperature. Further separation of them breaks the Ge bridge, leading to formation of a protrusion with a radius of about 50 nm at the end of the tip. Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) equipped with the SEM reveals the precipitation of Pt in the inside of protrusion. This protrusion is mostly covered with Ge, ex-situ revealed by scanning Auger electron spectroscopy/microscopy (SAM). This indicates that the combined microscope has potential to analyze the alloying, precipitation and formation of a contact on a micro- to nano-scale, and to fabricate nanostructures.

Key words: scanning probe microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, in situ observation, in situ manipulation, high temperature observation