Wednesday, October 07, 2009

US Patent 7597717 - Multi-tip rotating scanning probe head

Since the 1980's a variety of different types of scanning probe microscopy devices have been developed to accomplish a variety of different tasks in nanometrology and nanolithography. This patent based on research supported by the U.S. Navy teaches a compact scanning probe head capable of switching between different probe types. Claim 1 reads:

1. A scanning probe microscopy head comprising:

a circular base portion;

more than one cantilevers coupled to the perimeter of the base portion, the cantilevers positioned perpendicular to the base portion, the cantilevers comprising a substrate portion and a tip attachment portion, the tip attachment portion configured to linearly extend from and linearly retract within the substrate portion; and

at least one tip coupled to each of the tip attachment portions, wherein at least two of the cantilevers and associated tips are configured to perform a different scanning probe microscopy technique.