A tip characterizer for atomic force microscopy (AFM) was developed based on the fabrication of multilayer thin films. Comb-shaped line and space (LS) and wedge-shaped knife-edge structures were fabricated on a GaAs substrate. GaAsInGaP superlattices were used to control the width of the structures precisely, and selective chemical etching was used to form sharp edges on the nanostructures. The minimum size of the LS structure was designed to be 10 nm, and the radius of the knife edge was less than 5 nm. These nanostructures were used as a well-defined tip characterizer to measure the shape of a tip on a cantilever from line profiles of AFM images.
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