The core component of AFM is the cantilever. In the cleanroom facilities of EPFL (CMI), we micro-fabricate various types of cantilevers, using both classical and original techniques. Our devices range from polymer cantilevers with low Q-factors to very small bimorphs with high resonant frequencies, and even devices with integrated actuators and deflection sensors. We recently developed a whole new fabrication technique that we call hybrid MEMS and that can be used for a variety of devices.
We have developed a new MEMS fabrication process based on a hybrid structure. It can be used for various types of devices and allows the integration of sensors and actuators. In addition, it is fully fluid compatible.
We showed that high-speed AFM imaging in air can be be achieved by changing the cantilever material from silicon or silicon nitride to polymers. Our fabrication process includes wear-resistant silicon nitride tips.