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Fluorescent probes
Micro & Nano Characterization Group
MNC Group

To perform near-field optics and thermics, we use a fluorescent particle glued at the end of a sharp tip. The particle acts as a nanodetector of light or as a nanothermometer. In order to fabricate these tips, we have developed several micro and nanomanipulation systems composed of several piezoelectric displacement modules. One of the system is operating at ambiant atmosphere under a classical optical microscope. We have also performed some nanomanipulations in a Scanning Electron Microscope.

The tips are coated with a thin adhesive polymer layer, and brought in contact with a surface on which the particles are deposited. With piezoelectric stacks, we manually move the tip on a particle that remains sticked at its end (see Fig. 1 for an example). The images in Fig. 2 illustrate the picking of a gold particle by a tip, in-situ inside a SEM. The tip is moved with a 3D piezoelectric stage.

SEM pictures of fluorescent nanoprobe tips are shown in Fig.3.

Fig. 1: Gluing of a 250nm-wide gold particle at the end of a sharp tungsten tip.

See for instance:

- Appl. Phys. Lett. 83, 147 (2003).
- Appl. Opt. 43, 3829 (2004).
- Rev. Sci. Instrum. 77, 063702 (2006).
- Phys. Stat. Sol. C 12, 282 (2015).

Fig. 2: Gluing of a particle in-situ in an SEM chamber.

Fig. 3: SEM images of nanoparticles glued at the end of tips. From left to right : Er/Yb-doped fluoride nanocrystal, CdSe/ZnS QDots doped silica sphere, Eu-doped KY7F22 nanocrystal.