Diamond Probes Technology

  • Thomas HantschelEmail author
  • Thierry Conard
  • Jason Kilpatrick
  • Graham Cross
Part of the NanoScience and Technology book series (NANO)


The superior properties of diamond being the hardest, best thermally conductive, high chemical inert and low friction material makes it very attractive for use as a tip material in scanning probe microscopy (SPM). The commercial availability of micromachined Si probes at the beginning of the 1990s triggered soon the interest and need for different tip coatings such as diamond which was first wanted for increasing the tip lifetime. Although first reports on diamond growth from the wafer phase were first reported in the 1980s, it took until the early 1990s before first applications using diamond grown by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) appeared on the market. Therefore, the development of fabrication processes for diamond tips, especially for electrically conductive ones, required also substantial efforts on the development of the diamond coating knowhow itself. As commercial probe companies considered diamond probes as specialty probes with a small market size in the early days, it explains well why most diamond tip innovations were established by universities and research centers.



Thierry Conard is acknowledged for TOFSIMS measurements. Menelaos Tsigkourakos is thanked for diamond seeding, growth and SSRM support. W. Kulisch († November 2018) is thanked for his pioneering diamond research and molded tip support in this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Hantschel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Thierry Conard
    • 1
  • Jason Kilpatrick
    • 2
    • 3
  • Graham Cross
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.IMECLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Conway Institute of Biomedical and Biomolecular ResearchUniversity College DublinDublinIreland
  3. 3.Adama Innovations, CRANNTrinity College DublinDublinIreland
  4. 4.Trinity College, School of PhysicsDublin 2Ireland

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