We present the fabrication process of a tool that can be used in standard atomic force microscope (AFM) for in situ characterization of chemical, chemical–mechanical or physical surface modification performed with the same device. The image obtained during scanning contains information about the modified and unmodified topographies for each scanning line, thus quantification of surface topography modification (e.g. wear, deposition) or the change of different parameters (e.g. friction force) can be followed as it occurs. The device allows continuous fluid supply for different localized applications. The reservoir, micromachined into the AFM probe support, is connected to fluidic channels embedded in a V-shaped cantilever. Via the fluidic channels the liquid reaches the tip, where surface modification occurs. With a second cantilever, used only for measurement, the surface modification is characterized in situ. Due to multiple functionality of the device the applications range from nanoscale tribological studies (lubricated and dry conditions) to lithography (deposition, etching).
Deladi, S., Berenschot, J. W., Tas, N. R., de Boer, M. J., de Boer, J. H., Krijnen, G. J. M., & Elwenspoek, M. C. (2005). Fabrication of micromachined fountain pen with in situ characterization possibility of nanoscale surface modification. Journal of micromechanics and microengineering, 15(3), 528-534. https://doi.org/10.1088/0960-1317/15/3/013