Abstract

The sample preparation for transmission electron microscope can be done using a method known as "lift-out". This paper demonstrates a method of using a silver-gallium nanoneedle array for a quicker sharpening process of tungsten probes with better sample viewing, covering the fabrication steps and performance of needle-tipped probes for lift-out process. First, an array of high aspect ratio silver-gallium nanoneedles was fabricated and coated to improve their conductivity and strength. Then, the nanoneedles were welded to a regular tungsten probe in the focused ion beam system at the desired angle, and used as a sharp probe for lift-out. The paper demonstrates the superior mechanical properties of crystalline silver-gallium metallic nanoneedles. Finally, a weldless lift-out process is described whereby a nano-fork gripper was fabricated by attaching two nanoneedles to a tungsten probe.

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