Fabrication of AFM Probes: Tip, Cantilever and Chip micromachining by DRIE
We report on the fabrication of atomic force microscopy (AFM) probes using a novel technology that performs every machining step by means of one single deep reactive ion etching (DRIE) equipment. Specific etching conditions are optimized in order to define rocket tips (apex and shaft parts of the tip are etched separately). Then, those rocket tips are fabricated on cantilevers obtaining finally complete AFM probes. DRIE is also used to shape the cantilevers and to machine the whole silicon wafer. Very high yield and very high uniformity are obtained because of the use of dry etchings. Customized fabrication of AFM probes with similar features than the reference ones is demonstrated.