Utilizing Scanning Electron Microscopy to Characterize SCM Tip Degradation and Microsphere Deposition

Student Author(s)

Daniel Clark

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Jennifer Hampton and Dr. Joshua Veazey

Document Type


Event Date



Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) is a method by which the morphology of a sample can be determined. Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) can determine the elemental composition of the sample. This project examined two microsystems using these techniques. The first microsystem examined the quality of the coating on Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) tips. In contact AFM, a tip is physically dragged across the surface to determine the topography of the sample. The SCM model tips have a conductive coating, which can be damaged due to the dragging required to make the measurement. In the second microsystem, the SEM was used to examine the results of depositing polystyrene microspheres on gold substrates to determine what parameters lead to a closepacked monolayer.


This work is supported by Nation Science Foundation under NSF-REU Grant No. PHY/DMR-1004811, NSF-RUI Grant No. DMR-1104725, NSF-MRI Grant No. CHE- 0959282, and NSF-MRI Grant No. CHE-1126462.

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