2013 Volume 7 Issue 1 Pages 15-29
Precise processes or devices utilizing scanning nanoprobes, e.g., probe-based nanolithography and probe-based data storage, are state-of-the-art technologies that can handle nm-sized tiny patterns. To transfer these technologies from the research and development stage to practical implementation, a significant improvement in the wear resistance of the probe tip is required for reliable and long-term operation of the system. On the other hand, to remove the unevenness of the size of drawn patterns or recorded bits, the electric contact resistance at the nanoscale sliding contact area of the probe tip must be stable even when the scanning speed of the probe increases to achieve higher throughput. To solve these dilemmatic problems, tribological investigation of the probe tip is very important.
In this study, the influence of the material properties on the relations among electric contact resistance, friction force, and wear durability of nanoprobe tips was examined in detail to clarify the tribological phenomena that occur at the nanoscale contact area of the probe tips. From the results, the authors discussed the key material properties that are dominant for the abovementioned three tribological factors. In conclusion, management of the surface oxide thickness of metal electrodes was the key among all the three factors.