EPSRC logo

Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/C518276/1
Title: Batch Fabrication Of Single Walled Carbon Nanotube-Atomic Force Microscopy Probes and Nanowires Through Controlled Growth
Principal Investigator: Weaver, Professor JMR
Other Investigators:
Dobson, Dr PS
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Electronics and Electrical Engineering
Organisation: University of Glasgow
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 26 September 2005 Ends: 25 December 2008 Value (£): 232,841
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Synthesis & Growth Surfaces & Interfaces
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
SWNT-AFM probes have been touted as the ultimate probe for AFM imaging, given that they offer crucial advantages over conventional Si probes including: resistance to tip wear and hence longevity in imaging; a high aspect ratio for imaging deep structures in surfaces; a decreased contact force, hence softer imaging and extremely high lateral resolution due to the small tube diameters of the attached SWNTs. However, they have not yet realised their full potential due to the difficulty in producing robust and reproducible tips that can be readily fabricated at reasonable cost. At present, SWNTAFM probes are either made one-at-a-time using either time-consuming micromanipulation approaches or by controlled catalysed chemical vapour deposition (cCVD) growth on the tip or a pick-up plate. Using these procedures it is extremely difficult to attach only one tube to the tip and, additionally, the tube-tip attachment force is uncontrolled, so the tubes can be prone to removal from the tip after several scans in-air and are very easily removed in solution.By integrating cost-effective cCVD growth with advanced microfabrication procedures we aim to develop strategies for growing the tubes in-situ, on arrays of AFM tips. Using these approaches we aim to define both the geometry of the tip and position of the catalyst precisely, such that SWNTs will be strongly adhered to the AFM tip making them suitable for long-lived, high-resolution imaging in air and under solution. By forming tips composed of bundles of tubes, rather than one tube, we will be able to increase the yield of the process (it is far easier to produce a bundle tube tip than a single tube tip), produce longer length tube tips (useful for probing high aspect ratio structures), increase the tube-tip attachment force and still have improved lateral resolution over conventional AFM probes. We will also build in the capability to electrically connect the tubes to the AFM probe, thus extending their applications beyond topography to simultaneous high resolution electrical and electrochemical imaging.Finally, we will use the procedures developed above to produce arrays of nanowire AFM probes and devices. Using metal templating approaches, the stiff SWNT bundle tube tips will be converted into (1) metallic nanowire electrodes, for high resolution magnetic force microscopy, conducting-AFM and electric force microscopy imaging. The high aspect ratio of the nanowire represents the ideal geometry for the sensitive probing of magnetic and electric fields. (2) Insulated nanowires will be used as electrochemical probes and array devices for highly localised chemical sensing and imaging.
Key Findings
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Potential use in non-academic contexts
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.gla.ac.uk