PT/IR Nanotips—A Mechanical Technique for Sharpening Tips Utilized by a Scanning Tunneling Microscope

  • Ernest C. HammondJr.
  • Brenda Queen


The image quality of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) depends on the tip sharpness. The literature is replete with examples of etching techniques to construct tip thickness within a few atomic dimensions, thus enhancing the STM image. This research team has developed a mechanical technique using a Dremel Motor tool and a diamond wheel stone to produce similar atomic dimensions. The technique is very cost effective because one’s tip lifetime is extended by a factor of four. Moreover, this paper will compare and contrast scanning electron micrographs produced from the conventional techniques with the protocol developed by this research team. Further, our technique will ensure reasonable tip sharpness and reproducibility.


Scanning Tunneling Microscope Scanning Tunneling Microscope Image Pyrolytic Carbon Atomic Dimension Mechanical Technique 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ernest C. HammondJr.
    • 1
  • Brenda Queen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsMorgan State UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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