Scanning Ion Pipette with Integrated Piezoresistive Sensor

As technology nowadays is driven to become increasingly smaller, the need arises for a versatile workstation capable of manipulations at the micro and nanoscale. Nanomanipulators at this workstation should be able to use different kinds of tools for different applications. The scanning ion pipette (SIP) is such a nanotool. It is a special atomic force microscope (AFM) chip, able to pump fluids from an on-chip reservoir through a hollow 155 micron long cantilever to its tip. At the cantilever tip, picoliter sized volumes can be dispensed to or subtracted from a surface. By adding the mobility of a nanomanipulator to the SIP, it will be available for various tasks such as investigating micro-organisms or repairing defects in lithography masks. The conventional optical laser detection used to measure the cantilever deflection in an AFM cannot be integrated on a nanomanipulator due to its size. Therefore a new on-chip measurement method was chosen using the piezoresistive principle.

Finished device

Fabrication process