Tungsten nanotip fabrication by spatially controlled field-assisted reaction with nitrogen

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1063/1.2198536
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TypeArticle
Journal titleThe Journal Of Chemical Physics
Volume124
Issue20
Pages2047166; # of pages: 204711
Subjectetching; field evaporation; nanostructured materials; nanotechnology; nitrogen; scanning tunnelling microscopy; surface chemistry; tungsten
AbstractIn this report we present a straightforward new technique for fabricating nanotips. This approach is based on spatially controlling the reaction of nitrogen gas with the surface atoms of a tungsten tip in a field ion microscope (FIM). Confining this field-assisted etching reaction to the shank has enabled us to produce single-atom tips with an apex radius far sharper than the nominal 10 nm radius of curvature tips we start with. Tip sharpening is evidenced in several ways. The FIM imaging voltage drops dramatically from, typically, 4.4 to 1.6 kV. Nanotip formation is also evident from the increase in the FIM magnification and the decrease in the apex area, which are monitored throughout the experiment. A subsequent field evaporation allows the nanotip to be sequentially deconstructed to further describe the extraordinary sharp tip that was formed. We also demonstrate the utility of these nanotips for the scanning tunneling microscope.
Publication date
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada; National Institute for Nanotechnology
Peer reviewedNo
NPARC number12327304
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Record identifier0c353176-d6d4-4d56-845d-5668507c99b8
Record created2009-09-10
Record modified2016-05-09
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