AFM/SNOM Cantilever Probe Serial Fabrication Process with Controlled Tip Nanoaperture

A. Tsigara, B. Belier, F. Maillard, P. Falgayrettes, E. Nativel, R. Kribich, P. Gall-Borrut
Universite Paris Sud, FR

Keywords: microfabrication, AFM probe, SNOM, nanoaperture


In this paper we present the microfabrication steps of sol gel and polymer (SU8) based cantilever probe systems using an alternative batch front face fabrication process. The probes are consisting of cantilevers with pyramidal nanoengineered tips and waveguides integrated on an SU8 chip and coupled to a miniature photodetector. Either the tip and waveguides are made of UV- sensitive sol-gel or photopolymer (SU8) covered with a thin Au or Al layer. They can be used as a low-cost coupled AFM/SNOM sensor allowing both topographic and optical images in a same scan. Holders and cantilevers design can be easily adapted to cover a large range of actual AFM microscopes and applications. The formation of the tip profile is performed on a silicon mold by RIE etching for the elimination of the SiO2 layer on (111) plane followed by deep Si etching for the formation of the hollow pattern. The fabrication of the desired nanosized aperture of the metal coated tips of the cantilevers by control of the etching parameters is also presented