High-yield synthesis of conductive carbon nanotube tips for multiprobe scanning tunneling microscope

H. Konishi, Y. Murata, W. Wongwiriyapan, M. Kishida, K. Tomita, K. Motoyoshi, S. Honda, M. Katayama, S. Yoshimoto, K. Kubo, R. Hobara, I. Matsuda (+4 others)
2007 Review of Scientific Instruments  
We have established a fabrication process for conductive carbon nanotube ͑CNT͒ tips for multiprobe scanning tunneling microscope ͑STM͒ with high yield. This was achieved, first, by attaching a CNT at the apex of a supporting W tip by a dielectrophoresis method, second, by reinforcing the adhesion between the CNT and the W tip by electron beam deposition of hydrocarbon and subsequent heating, and finally by wholly coating it with a thin metal layer by pulsed laser deposition. More than 90% of
more » ... CNT tips survived after long-distance transportation in air, indicating the practical durability of the CNT tips. The shape of the CNT tip did not change even after making contact with another metal tip more than 100 times repeatedly, which evidenced its mechanical robustness. We exploited the CNT tips for the electronic transport measurement by a four-terminal method in a multiprobe STM, in which the PtIr-coated CNT portion of the tip exhibited diffusive transport with a low resistivity of 1.8 k⍀ / m. The contact resistance at the junction between the CNT and the supporting W tip was estimated to be less than 0.7 k⍀. We confirmed that the PtIr thin layer remained at the CNT-W junction portion after excess current passed through, although the PtIr layer was peeled off on the CNT to aggregate into particles, which was likely due to electromigration or a thermally activated diffusion process. These results indicate that the CNT tips fabricated by our recipe possess high reliability and reproducibility sufficient for multiprobe STM measurements.
doi:10.1063/1.2432253 pmid:17503924 fatcat:lfqrdxazd5glxovodmet6xk2be