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Functionalization of atomic force microscope tips by dielectrophoretic assembly of Gd2O3:Eu3+ nanorods

Abrantes , D. ; André, P.S ; Ferreira, M.R. ; Skrivervik, A. K. ; Carlos, L. D. ; Rocha, J.

Nanotechnology Vol. 19, Nº 295, pp. 702 - 708, June, 2008.

ISSN (print): 0957-4484
ISSN (online): 1361-6528

Scimago Journal Ranking: 1,86 (in 2008)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1088/0957-4484/19/29/295702

An atomic force microscopy (AFM) tip has been coated with photoluminescent Eu3+-doped
Gd2O3 nanorods using a dielectrophoresis technique, which preserves the red emission of the
nanorods (quantum yield 0.47). The performance of the modified tips has been tested by using
them for regular topography imaging in tapping and contact modes. Both a regular AFM
standard grid and a patterned surface (of an organic–inorganic methacrylate Zr-based
oxo-cluster and poly(oxyethylene)/siloxane hybrid) have been used. Similar depth values have
been measured using a conventional silicon tip and the nanorod-modified tip. The tips before
and after use exhibit similar SEM images and photoluminescence spectra and, thus, seem to be
stable under working conditions. These tips should find applications in scanning near-field
optical microscopy and other scanning techniques