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A Technique For Positioning Nanoparticles Using An Atomic Force Microscope

L. Hansen, A. Kühle, A. Sørensen, J. Bohr, P. Lindelof
Published 1998 · Materials Science

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In this paper we present a method for manipulating nanometer-sized particles on surfaces using a commercial atomic force microscope (AFM). A PC-mouse-based `click and move' manipulation scheme was implemented without the need for additional software or hardware development. The success of the scheme depends mostly on the choice of tip and cantilever which should be able to operate in both the contact mode and vibrating cantilever mode. Four different tip/cantilever combinations were tested and suitable types were found among those commercially available. The necessary properties are defined. The technique enables the fabrication of various kinds of two-dimensional structures of nanoparticles but may have relevance also to other areas of nanoscience, e.g. biotechnology. We developed the technique in order to study the magnetization of single nanoparticles using a very sensitive Hall micromagnetometer. The AFM is used as a tool to select and position a specific particle in the active region of the magnetometer.
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