NSC Whisker AFM Probe

Whisker Probes

Specially Designed for Deep Holes, Trenches and Narrow Gaps

Uneven or complicated surfaces call for just the right type of probe. K-Tek Nanotechnology’s series of Whisker-Type Focused Electron Beam (FEB) probes provide superior imaging quality without the mechanical restriction of standard cantilever probes. Our tips are able to go deeper inside narrow trenches, and are perfect for profiling the shape of sample sidewalls.


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Resonant Frequency kHz
Force Constant Nm
± 10μm
± 5μm
± 0.5μm
CSC05225 30 1 8 22 39 0.01 0.11 0.5
NSC0595 30 2 140 240 390 3.1 11.8 37.6

Cantilever Specifications
Material  Single Crystal Silicon, N-type, 0.01-0.025 Ω-cm, Antimony doped
Cantilever Geometry  Rectangular
Number of Cantilevers 1
Back Side Coating Au
Tip Specifications
Tip Material Carbin (carbon modification)
Tip Aspect Ratio Better than 10:1
Tip Angle (j) ≤ 10°
Tip Curvature Radius (Nom) 10 nm (uncoated)
Angle of Inclination 10° ± 1°
20° ± 1º
General Information
  • Chip thickness H: 0.4mm
  • Chip has one straight spring
Whisker AFM Probe Specs

Product Details

Not even every surface of interest has a plain structure. Moreover, in most cases it may have a rather complicated topography, with many ups and downs. To investigate such features properly matching this task probe must be used. A standard probe has a limited size and in case of narrow gaps cannot fit them (too short and wide). Also it’s true when the height’s difference is greater than the probe’s dimensions.

Our special probes are designed for studying deep holes, trenches and narrow gaps. It differs from any standard probe by having at the very end a long and slim “whisker”. 

This small modification has a great impact in terms of making the probe a perfect instrument for investigation of narrow gaps. It gives the following advantages:

  • To profile a shape of sidewalls. Due to a variable angle of inclination (see Fig.2), no more mechanical restriction. The “whisker” tips go deeper inside narrow gaps when the standard cantilevers fail to measure!
  • For imaging of the trench’s bottom. That is not possible using a standard probe due to its size’s limitations, but because of the very high aspect ratio of “Whisker” tip we can do it easily.
Whisker AFM Probe Tip

Fig. 1 Any angle of inclination α you need to match your SPM holder specification can be produced. Just specify the angle of inclination you want.

Comparison Experiment

We compared the results from two different probes – a standard probe and a probe with the “Whisker” tip.

SEM image of the structure. Dark places correspond to holes, while light colors correspond to absence of copolymer.

Sample: E-beam lithography mask for fabrication SET devices by shadow evaporation technique. V.A. Krupenin, Cryoeletronics Lab., Physical department of MSU ,Moscow, Russia


Graphical representation of the experiment

Whisker Type AFM Probe

On the figure below, SPM images of the structure obtained by difrerent probes are shown – standard probe (on the left) and probe with “Whisker” tip (on the right). The width of gaps was about 100 nm. These images show the main advantage of the whisker: it goes much deeper and gives a uniform distribution of pattern, while the standard one fails even to reach the bottom!


On the left – results of imaging by the standard probe, the depth was only 170 nm reached.While the wisker achieved the bottom (530 nm) and showed a uniform distribution.

Calibrated SEM photos

Free calibrated SEM photo for each “Whisker Type” tip to let you know the real shape of the tip.

Whisker AFM Probe Tip

Fig. a: SEM image of “Whisker” tip specially designed for measurement of samples with near vertical sidewalls.

Fig. b: SEM image of four “Whisker” tips grown on the silicon tip in accordance with preset sketch.

Additional Information

Product Yield
Guaranteed product yield is better than 90%
Probes are packaged in GelPak® boxes (GelPak® is a registered trade mark of Vichem Corporation)
  • 1 year for uncoated probes
  • 6 months for probes with conductive coating
All in-stock items ship within 24 hours.
Standard Ground, 2-Day, Next Day options available.
Details Price QTY

Inclination Angle: 20° inclination angle
Product Tip Quantity: 5

Inclination Angle: 20° inclination angle
Product Tip Quantity: 5

Inclination Angle: 10° inclination angle
Product Tip Quantity: 5

Inclination Angle: 10° inclination angle
Product Tip Quantity: 5