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Two innovations underlie Tiptek's product line of ultra-hard and ultra-sharp STM and AFM probes. First, field directed sputter sharpening (FDSS), a proprietary process developed by Tiptek co-founders, sharpens the probe tip to atomic dimensions in a self-limiting fashion that does not require skilled operator intervention. Second, in some cases chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is used to coat the probe tips with a chemically inert, highly conductive, and extremely hard material such as a metal diboride film (hardness up to 40 GPa depending on crystallinity). 
  


Remarkably, the FDSS technique is able to sharpen an HfB2 coated tip to a 4 nm radius of curvature.
  


The resulting probe tips perform excellently, giving high resolution over long periods of use.
 

 

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