Aurora NanoDevices Inc.,|
PO Box 37013
38-3200 Island Hwy
Canada V9T 6N4
250 739-2161 (Voice)
780 665-6084 (Fax)
Our technical support department often gets similar questions from customers regarding either the characteristics or potential applications of our Nioprobe and Tipcheck products. We have decided to place the most commonly asked questions on our website and will update this page as the need arises. Certainly, this is not an final response from us and you should feel free to contact us directly if the information given does not sufficiently answer your question or your question is not present. Thank you for your interest.
Both the Tipcheck and Nioprobe sample are intended for tip shape imaging. However, the practical difference between the two lie in what portion of the tip is imaged. The Nioprobe device consists of smaller peaks (~5nm) and shallower trenches (no more than 50-100nm) compared to the Tipcheck device which generally exhibits maximum relief of 100 to 140nm. Hence, the Nioprobe is most suitable for imaging the very apex of the tip (i.e. if you are interested in scanning low relief structures like DNA), while the Tipcheck is useful when studying high relief structures such as lithographic features or determining whether the tip is broken.
Q5 Can the Tipcheck and Nioprobe devices be cleaned?
This question has arisen on several occasions, and we are currently investigating a consistent cleaning method. We anticipate that most chemicals and solvents will leave residues on the surface (due to their small features) which may subsequently find their way on the tip themselves. Outside of N2 blowing across the device surface, we recommend that the safest course of action is its replacement.
Q6 I live in the United States and would like to purchase a Tipcheck and Nioprobe but want to avoid customs paperwork (and so expedite my order). Do you have a US subsidiary?
We do not have a US subsidiary, but have several US distributors for our products (see our order page). That being said, we have not found shipping delays to be significant for our US customers (often they will receive the product within a week of ordering, usually in a few days).
We also note that we have several international distributors (in Asia and Europe). Their websites may also be found on the order page.
Q7 Can the Tipcheck be used to determine the tip radius of a Nanoindenter (i.e. not an AFM tip).
Recently, a number of people have inquired about the use of Tipcheck in recovering the geometry of nanoinentation probes. This is something we have been meaning to try but have not yet had the opportunity.
However, we must express some reservations about using the TipCheck with nanoindentation probes for the following reason:
Although the relief on the Tipcheck devices can vary a bit, it is generally 100 to 140nm of peak to peak depth. In principle, we could use this sample to recover the same amount of depth on the probe which would be sufficient for most indentation work. Because the Tipcheck is designed to be used for much smaller probes than indentation probes, the feature separation on the surface is typically much less than one micron. We anticipate that a probe with a diameter of a micron or larger will not penetrate the full 100nm of relief on the device surface, thereby limiting the amount of probe surface that can be sampled.
Q8 Can the Tipcheck be used to determine the tip radii for fluid tapping mode probes? In other words, does the Tipcheck operate effectively within fluids?
This question has been raised occasionally, and we are currently
investigating the effectiveness of the Tipcheck in fluids. Recent results
from our customers indicates that the Tipcheck does appear to be effective for
measuring fluid tapping mode probes when immersed in (purified,
high-resistivity) water. Further testing is obviously still required, but
these results are promising for those who may wish to use the Tipcheck for this
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