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Controlled nanodot fabrication by rippling polycarbonate surface using an AFM diamond tip

Yongda Yan12, Yang Sun123*, Jiran Li2, Zhenjiang Hu12 and Xuesen Zhao2

Author Affiliations

1 The State Key Laboratory of Robotics and Systems, Robotics Institute, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, Heilongjiang 150008, P.R. China

2 Center for Precision Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, Heilongjiang 150001, People’s Republic of China

3 Harbin Institute of Technology, P.O. Box 413, Harbin, Heilongjiang 150001, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:372  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-372

Published: 30 July 2014


The single scratching test of polymer polycarbonate (PC) sample surface using an atomic force microscope (AFM) diamond tip for fabricating ripple patterns has been studied with the focus on the evaluation of the effect of the tip scratching angle on the pattern formation. The experimental results indicated that the different oriented ripples can be easily machined by controlling the scratching angles of the AFM. And, the effects of the normal load and the feed on the ripples formation and their periods were also studied. Based on the ripple pattern formation, we firstly proposed a two-step scratching method to fabricate controllable and oriented complex three-dimensional (3D) nanodot arrays. These typical ripple formations can be described via a stick-slip and crack formation process.

Atomic force microscope (AFM); Polycarbonate (PC); Scratching; Ripples