IBM RESEARCH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY IBM RESEARCH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ultrasharp silicon carbide tip. Close-up of the tip of a wear-resistant and ultrasharp silicon carbide probe. The tip is 100,000 times smaller than the tip of a pencil. It was formed by exposing nanoscale silicon tips to carbon ions, and then annealing them. A strong silicon carbide layer formed, but the nanoscale sharpness of the original silicon tip was maintained. This tip is a microcantilever for use in atomic force microscopy. It has been heated to 800 degrees Celsius, making it glow. This research, carried out at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and at IBM Research Zurich, was published in 2012.
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