Wear-resistant diamond nanoprobe tips with integrated silicon heater for tip-based nanomanufacturing

Patrick C. Fletcher, Jonathan R. Felts, Zhenting Dai, Tevis D. Jacobs, Hongjun Zeng, Woo Lee, Paul E. Sheehan, John A. Carlisle, Robert W. Carpick, William P. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report exceptional nanoscale wear and fouling resistance of ultrananocrystalline diamond (UNCD) tips integrated with doped silicon atomic force microscope (AFM) cantilevers. The resistively heated probe can reach temperatures above 600°C. The batch fabrication process produces UNCD tips with radii as small as 15 nm, with average radius 50 nm across the entire wafer. Wear tests were performed on substrates of quartz, silicon carbide, silicon, or UNCD. Tips were scanned for more than 1 m at a scan speed of 25 μm s -1 at temperatures ranging from 25 to 400°C under loads up to 200 nN. Under these conditions, silicon tips are partially or completely destroyed, while the UNCD tips exhibit little or no wear, no signs of delamination, and exceptional fouling resistance. We demonstrate nanomanufacturing of more than 5000 polymer nanostructures with no deterioration in the tip.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3338-3344
Number of pages7
JournalACS Nano
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 22 2010


  • Atomic force microscope (AFM)
  • Cantilever
  • Nanotribology
  • Thermal dip-pen nanolithography (tDPN)
  • Tip-based nanofabrication (TBN)
  • Ultrananocrystalline diamond (UNCD)
  • Wear

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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