Dynamic electrostatic force microscopy technique for the study of electrical properties with improved spatial resolution

C. Maragliano, D. Heskes, M. Stefancich, M. Chiesa, T. Souier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)


The need to resolve the electrical properties of confined structures (CNTs, quantum dots, nanorods, etc) is becoming increasingly important in the field of electronic and optoelectronic devices. Here we propose an approach based on amplitude modulated electrostatic force microscopy to obtain measurements at small tip-sample distances, where highly nonlinear forces are present. We discuss how this improves the lateral resolution of the technique and allows probing of the electrical and surface properties. The complete force field at different tip biases is employed to derive the local work function difference. Then, by appropriately biasing the tip-sample system, short-range forces are reconstructed. The short-range component is then separated from the generic tip-sample force in order to recover the pure electrostatic contribution. This data can be employed to derive the tip-sample capacitance curve and the sample dielectric constant. After presenting a theoretical model that justifies the need for probing the electrical properties of the sample in the vicinity of the surface, the methodology is presented in detail and verified experimentally.

Original languageEnglish
Article number225703
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Jun 7 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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