Mass-producible monolithic silicon probes for scanning probe microscopes

Chang Liu*, Ronald Gamble

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


In this paper, we describe the design, fabrication, and testing of monolithically micromachined silicon probes for scanning probe microscope (SPM) applications. An SPM probe consists of three parts: an atomically sharp tip, a supporting flexural beam, and a handle. Unique design and fabrication processes allow probes with uniform geometry to be developed efficiently. The process is robust, as no time-critical steps are involved. Tips are formed by anisotropic etching followed by oxidation sharpening. Monolithic process enhances reliability of the probe by eliminting post-fabrication assembly steps such as wafer bonding. We have demonstrated SPM probes with excellent mechanical characteristics, including high resonant frequency and zero intrinsic bending.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-237
Number of pages5
JournalSensors and Actuators, A: Physical
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998


  • Monolithic silicon probes
  • Oxidation sharpening
  • Scanning probe microscope

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Mass-producible monolithic silicon probes for scanning probe microscopes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this