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Universal Probe

M.A. Ananyan, P.N. Louskinovich, V.D. Frolov

International conversion Foundation Institute
for Nanotechnologies

This is an abstract for a poster to be presented at the
Fifth Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology.
There will be a link from here to the full article when it is available on the web.


A new type of a probe for measuring the parameters of surfaces of different materials from conductors to dielectrics is being investigated. The main feature of the design of the probe consists in the arrangement of two conductors on dielectric top. The ends of the conductors converge in nanometer size area. This area may be a quantum wire, quantum dot or tunnel-transparent dielectric. Due to non-locality the distribution of electron wave function depends on the properties of environment. In Shrödinger equation these properties are described as the member connected with energy potential. All physical effects - fields, materials that change the size of energy potential influence the space distribution of wave function.

The change of parameters of wave function influences the probability of the passage of electrons and by that the quantity of tunnel current. Therefore the approach of not only conducting materials but dielectrics also to the given area changes the quantity of proceeding current and volt-ampere characteristic of the given area. The measurements of these data might present the basis for the creation of the devices that measure profile, tunnel-spectroscopy characteristics of surfaces, distribution of electric charges.

The probe might be produced by a combination of silicon micromechanics technologies, ionic etching and local etching or deposition of conducting material under the tip of scanning tunnelling microscope. The resolution of the probes of such a type can reach units of nanometers. The distance to a substrate on which the probe is kept can reach several nanometers. The results of calculations of resolution and sensitivity of probes are adduced. The results of experimental researches are described. These probes may be used as local activators creating strong electric fields, electron flows of high density, plasmons, phonons for stimulation of nanotechnology processes on substrates of various types including dielectrics.

*Corresponding Address:
38 B. Tatarskaya Str, Moscow 113184, Russia, ph: (095) 233-53-94, fax:(095) 233-53-82 (no name provided; abstract submitted via email: Sergei Arseniev,


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