The fabrication of cylindrical probes having diameters as small as 50 nm is described in this article. The planar endface (advantageously oriented perpendicular to the axis of the cylindrical probe) and sharp 90° corners of the end portion of the probe enable accurate measurement of a feature being scanned, even at sudden jumps in the surface. Conical and flaired probes can also be fabricated with variations of this technique. The fabrication techniques described in this article are simple and inexpensive; only a Teflon beaker, optical fiber, etching solution, polymer solution, fiber cleaver, and optical microscope are necessary.

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