Carbon nanotube atomic force microscopy tips: Direct growth by chemical vapor deposition and application to high-resolution imaging

Chin Li Cheung, Jason H. Hafner, Charles M. Lieber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

203 Scopus citations

Abstract

Carbon nanotubes are potentially ideal atomic force microscopy probes because they can have diameters as small as one nanometer, have robust mechanical properties, and can be specifically functionalized with chemical and biological probes at the tip ends. This communication describes methods for the direct growth of carbon nanotube tips by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) using ethylene and iron catalysts deposited on commercial silicon- cantilever-tip assemblies. Scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy measurements demonstrate that multiwalled nanotube and single-walled nanotube tips can be grown by predictable variations in the CVD growth conditions. Force-displacement measurements made on the tips show that they buckle elastically and have very small (≤ 100 pN) nonspecific adhesion on mica surfaces in air. Analysis of images recorded on gold nanoparticle standards shows that these multi- and single-walled carbon nanotube tips have radii of curvature of 3-6 and 2-4 nm, respectively. Moreover, the nanotube tip radii determined from the nanoparticle images are consistent with those determined directly by transmission electron microscopy imaging of the nanotube ends. These molecular-scale CVD nanotube probes have been used to image isolated IgG and GroES proteins at high-resolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3809-3813
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume97
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 11 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Carbon nanotube atomic force microscopy tips: Direct growth by chemical vapor deposition and application to high-resolution imaging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this