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Frontiers of Optoelectronics

Front. Optoelectron.    2018, Vol. 11 Issue (1) : 53-59
Silicon waveguide cantilever displacement sensor for potential application for on-chip high speed AFM
Peng WANG(), Aron MICHAEL, Chee Yee KWOK
School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW 2052, Australia
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This paper reviews an initial achievement of our group toward the development of on-chip parallel high-speed atomic force microscopy (HS-AFM). A novel AFM approach based on silicon waveguide cantilever displacement sensor is proposed. The displacement sensing approach uniquely allows the use of nano-scale wide cantilever that has a high resonance frequency and low spring constant desired for on-chip parallel HS-AFM. The approach consists of low loss silicon waveguide with nano-gap, highly efficient misalignment tolerant coupler, novel high aspect ratio (HAR) sharp nano-tips that can be integrated with nano-scale wide cantilevers and electrostatically driven nano-cantilever actuators. The simulation results show that the displacement sensor with optical power responsivity of 0.31%/nm and AFM cantilever with resonance frequency of 5.4 MHz and spring constant of 0.21 N/m are achievable with the proposed approach. The developed silicon waveguide fabrication method enables silicon waveguide with 6 and 7.5 dB/cm transmission loss for TE and TM modes, respectively, and formation of 13 nm wide nano-gaps between silicon waveguides. The coupler demonstrates misalignment tolerance of ±1.8 µm for 5 µm spot size lensed fiber and coupling loss of 2.12 dB/facet for standard cleaved single mode fiber without compromising other performance. The nano-tips with apex radius as small as 2.5 nm and aspect ratio of more than 50 has been enabled by the development of novel HAR nano-tip fabrication technique. Integration of the HAR tips onto an array of 460 nm wide cantilever beam has also been demonstrated.

Keywords atomic force microscopy (AFM)      silicon waveguide      silicon coupler      high aspect ratio (HAR) nano-tips     
Corresponding Authors: Peng WANG   
Online First Date: 23 March 2018    Issue Date: 02 April 2018
 Cite this article:   
Peng WANG,Aron MICHAEL,Chee Yee KWOK. Silicon waveguide cantilever displacement sensor for potential application for on-chip high speed AFM[J]. Front. Optoelectron., 2018, 11(1): 53-59.
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Chee Yee KWOK
Fig.1  Schematic diagram of the optical sensor system. (a) 3D view; (b) top view
Fig.2  500 nm silicon waveguide with 25 nm air gap. (a) 45° view; (b) top view
Fig.3  (a) Coupler schematic top view; (b) coupler schematic side view
Fig.4  SEM image of array of HAR nanotips integrated with array of nanocantilever viewed at 45°
Fig.5  Measured and simulated cantilever displacement as a function of actuation voltage
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