ProjectFIBsuperProbes – Focused Ion Beam fabrication of superconducting scanning Probes

Basic data

Focused Ion Beam fabrication of superconducting scanning Probes
01/10/2020 to 31/03/2024
Abstract / short description:
Our vision is to enable a new era in scanning probe microscopy (SPM), in which nanometer-scale sensing devices –
specifically superconducting devices – can be directly patterned on-tip and used to reveal new types of contrast. To realize
this vision, we will use focused ion beam (FIB) techniques to produce sensors with unprecedented size, functionality, and
sensitivity directly on the tips of custom-designed cantilevers. The key to this undertaking will be the unique capability of FIB
to mill, grow, or structurally modify materials – especially superconductors – at the nanometer-scale and on non-planar
surfaces. Our FIB-fabricated probes will include on-tip nanometer-scale Josephson junctions (JJs) and superconducting
quantum interference devices (SQUIDs) for mapping magnetic fields, magnetic susceptibility, electric currents, and
dissipation. Crucially, the custom-built cantilevers, on which the sensors will be patterned, will enable nanometer-scale
distance control, endowing our probes with exquisite spatial resolution and simultaneous topographic contrast. The resulting
imaging techniques will significantly surpass state-of-the-art SPM and help us to unravel poorly understood condensed
matter phenomena, which are impossible to address with today’s technology.
focused ion beam
scanning probe microscopy
Josephson Junctions
van der Waals heterostructures

Involved staff


Faculty of Science
University of Tübingen
Institute of Physics (PIT)
Department of Physics, Faculty of Science
Center for Light Matter Interaction, Sensors & Analytics (LISA+)

Local organizational units

Institute of Physics (PIT)
Department of Physics
Faculty of Science


Brüssel, Belgium

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