Journal of Applied Physics vol:94 issue:3 pages:1699-1704
Fine-crystalline diamond particles are grown on standard Si atomic force microscopy tips, using hot filament-assisted chemical vapor deposition. To optimize the conditions for diamond deposition, first a series of experiments is carried out using silicon substrates covered by point-topped pyramids as obtained by wet chemical etching. The apexes and the edges of the silicon pyramids provide favorable sites for diamond nucleation and growth. The investigation of the deposited polycrystallites is done by means of optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and micro-Raman spectroscopy. The resulting diamond-terminated tips are tested in ultra high vacuum using contact-mode atomic force microscope on a stepped surface of sapphire showing high stability, sharpness, and hardness. (C) 2003 American Institute of Physics.