Note: Electrochemical etching of silver tips in concentrated sulfuric acid
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Sharp metal tips have many uses, including in scanning probe microscopy. Silver is a particularly interesting metal for plasmonic enhancement, e.g., in tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, however few methods for the production of silver tips have been explored. A simple and reliable one step dc electrochemical method for the production of sharp silver tips in concentrated H2SO4 is presented. The optimal conditions are 10 V cell voltage and 99% sulfuric acid for tip radii below 100 nm. A LabView program was written to control the cut-off of the circuit to within a millisecond to avoid blunting the tips after drop-off.
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