Novel ultrananocrystalline diamond probes for high-resolution low-wear nanolithographic techniques

Keun Ho Kim*, Nicolaie Moldovan, Changhong Ke, Horacio D. Espinosa, Xingcheng Xiao, John A. Carlisle, Orlando Auciello

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


A hard, low-wear probe for contact-mode writing techniques, such as dip-pen nanolithography (DPN), was fabricated using ultrananocrystalline diamond (UNCD). Molding within anisotropically etched and oxidized pyramidal pits in silicon was used to obtain diamond tips with radii down to 30 nm through growth of UNCD films followed by selective etching of the silicon template substrate. The probes were monolithically integrated with diamond cantilevers and subsequently integrated into a chip body obtained by metal electroforming. The probes were characterized in terms of their mechanical properties, wear, and atomic force microscopy imaging capabilities. The developed probes performed exceptionally well in DPN molecular writing/imaging mode. Furthermore, the integration of UNCD films with appropriate substrates and the use of directed microfabrication techniques are particularly suitable for fabrication of one- and two-dimensional arrays of probes that can be used for massive parallel fabrication of nanostructures by the DPN method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)866-874
Number of pages9
Issue number8-9
StatePublished - Aug 1 2005


  • AFM
  • Diamond
  • Dip-pen nanolithography
  • Nanocrystalline materials
  • Probe tips

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)

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