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Fullerene Based SPM Tips

N. Franklin, H. Dai, R. Jaffe, and J. Han*

Stanford University, NASA Ames Research Center

This is an abstract for a talk to be given 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.


One of most promissing applications of carbon nanotubes (CNT) is the use of nanoprobes in scanning probe microscopy (SPM), as Dai et al demonstrated (Nature 384, 147, 1996). The unique topological, chemical and mechanical features of CNT yield small robust probes and manipulators. These can be utilized in a variety of systems including dry semiconductor surfaces, liquids, and biological molecules in solution.

We are currently working on fullerene based SPM tips both experimentally and theoretically. Our interests iclude the basic issues of (1) nanomechanics: i.e., the tensile strength, compression, bending and buckling of CNT tips; (2) functionalization of capped or open-end CNT tips by organic molecules or metal atoms, and (3) the interactions of CNT tips with probed atoms or molecules.

We will present our results obtained from both experiment and simulation. We also will discuss the applications of fullerene based SPM tips (single and multi wall nanotubes and nanocones) in dry and wet systems.

*Corresponding Address:
Dr. Jie Han, NASA Ames Research Center, T27A-1, Moffett Field, CA 94035, ph: 415-604-4799, fax: 415-604-3957, email:


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