In this work, effective, yet simple, recycling mechanisms for
used scanning probe microscopy (SPM) tips were implemented.
Comprising a tip profile characterization methodology and specific
cleaning procedures, which decontaminate SPM tips whether the
contamination nature is known or not, such routes were optimized
during numerous tests with brand new, previously used, and already
discarded categories of SPM tips. The results show that if the
used tip suffered contamination only, but no physical damages,
during its scanning lifetime, it becomes readily available for
reutilization after the cleansing process, characterizing a
recycling route. On the other hand, if the tip went through
wear and breakages during its utilization, it still can be
decontaminated, but may not be directly reutilized due to its
inadequate physical profile. Nevertheless, the methodology
developed in this work may yet be applied as part of a more
complex recycling route.