Nanoladder cantilevers made from diamond and silicon

Héritier, M., Eichler, A., Pan, Y., Grob, U., Shorubalko, I., Krass, M. D., … Degen, C. L.;

NANO Letters;

We present a "nanoladder" geometry that minimizes the mechanical dissipation of ultrasensitive cantilevers. A nanoladder cantilever consists of a lithographically patterned scaffold of rails and rungs with feature size ∼100 nm. Compared to a rectangular beam of the same dimensions, the mass and spring constant of a nanoladder are each reduced by roughly 2 orders of magnitude. We demonstrate a low force noise of 158
–42+62 zN and 190–33+42 zN in a 1 Hz bandwidth for devices made from silicon and diamond, respectively, measured at temperatures between 100–150 mK. As opposed to bottom-up mechanical resonators like nanowires or nanotubes, nanoladder cantilevers can be batch-fabricated using standard lithography, which is a critical factor for applications in scanning force microscopy.