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21 January 2003 Micromachined near-field probe arrays
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Proceedings Volume 4983, MOEMS and Miniaturized Systems III; (2003)
Event: Micromachining and Microfabrication, 2003, San Jose, CA, United States
In this paper, we describe the fabrication of cantilevered arrays of tapered near-field probes with pyramidal, sub-micrometer tips that are micromachined from glass substrates. High density data storage and page-oriented retrieval are the potential applications of the described microdevice. Heating and pulling or chemical etching of optic fibers are the common approaches to sub-wavelength aperture fabrication necessary to probe the near-field. Arrays have been previously formed by chemical etching of or film deposition on an opaque substrate and were later coupled to optical fibers for use as near-field probes though; alignment of optical fibers with the apertures for guiding the light to the detector in the far-field is not trivial. Probe arrays described in this work were initially fabricated by dicing a 175-μm thick borosilicate glass substrate using a 250-μm thick resinoid blade and were subsequently tapered and sharpened in a two-step chemical etch process performed at room temperature. The tips were then metallized using a 100nm thick coating of aluminum. Arrays of upto eight 1cm to 2.5 cm long probes with center-to-center spacing of 450 μm and tip sizes of approximately 200 nm were fabricated. Roughness on the vertical sidewall was characterized and the dependence of optical loss coefficients of the light guiding bulk on etch duration was investigated.
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Pradeep Srinivasan, Fred R Beyette Jr., and Ian Papautsky "Micromachined near-field probe arrays", Proc. SPIE 4983, MOEMS and Miniaturized Systems III, (21 January 2003);

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