Carbon Design Innovations Carbon Core High-Aspect Ratio (CCHAR) AFM Probe

Carbon Design Innovations' (C|D|I) carbon core high-aspect ratio probes (CCHAR) for atomic force microscopy (AFM) start with a core carbon nanotube (CNT) and is then further processed and stabilized with patented technology resulting in a CNT probe with maximum aspect ratio, resolution, imaging lifetime and stability.

The CCHAR high-aspect ratio CNT AFM probe, are designed for critical dimension measurements and imaging high-Z structures in materials science, metrology and life science applications. The standard CNT probe length is approximately 1µm overall with < 500nm of exposed CNT tip. These two dimensions can also be custom engineered to user specifications.

Carbon Nanotube (CNT) probes can offer more robust material properties than traditional silicon probes. CNT probes are not brittle and do not wear down as rapidly as silicon probes allowing for greater than 10X longer imaging lifetime. CCHAR probes have true multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), securely mounted, perfectly straight, and normal to the imaging surface. C|D|I uses MWCNTs for its probes to ensure the probe is extremely tough. C|D|I proprietary processes securely attach the CNT to the cantilever and re-enforce the base attachment to ensure the CNT is securely mounted. C|D|I technology allows the manufacture of probes with all the advantages of a CNT tip and the stability and familiarity of a silicon cantilever.

The physically robust material properties also allow CNT probes to be able to withstand AFM imaging forces with a higher length-to-width ratio than is possible with a silicon or amorphous carbon spike probe. C|D|I's patented processing techniques provide precise angle and length control resulting in nanoengineered critical dimension probes for high-aspect ratio imaging applications.


  • Stabilized, robust CNT probe with maximized aspect ratio
  • High-resolution CNT tip with the convenience of a silicon cantilever
  • Enables imaging of critical dimension trench or hole structures with high-Z dimension variation
  • Longer lifetime allows users compare samples with the same probe with no loss of resolution
  • Reduced breakage, wear and contamination
  • Precise length, diameter and angle deliver consistent probe-to-probe results


  • CNT diameter <40nm with sharpened apex <5nm
  • Overall CNT length: 1µm, Exposed CNT length: <500nm
  • Proprietary stabilization coatings
  • Imaging lifetime >10X that of silicon probes
  • Custom length, aspect ratio and angles available
  • Available with 12KHz and 70KHz cantilever CCHAR Cantilever Characteristics
  • Radius of curvature <10nm
  • Aspect Ratio > 100:1
  • Angular Displacement < 2º
  • Variable spring constants available

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