We investigate the dependency of electrostaticinteraction forces on applied potentials in electrostatic force microscopy (EFM) as well as in related local potentiometry techniques such as Kelvin probe microscopy (KPM). The approximated expression of electrostaticinteraction between two conductors, usually employed in EFM and KPM, may loose its validity when probe-sample distance is not very small, as often realized when realistic nanostructured systems with complex topography are investigated. In such conditions, electrostaticinteraction does not depend solely on the potential difference between probe and sample, but instead it may depend on the bias applied to each conductor. For instance, electrostatic force can change from repulsive to attractive for certain ranges of applied potentials and probe-sample distances, and this fact cannot be accounted for by approximated models. We propose a general capacitance model, even applicable to more than two conductors, considering values of potentials applied to each of the conductors to determine the resulting forces and force gradients, being able to account for the above phenomenon as well as to describe interactions at larger distances. Results from numerical simulations and experiments on metal stripe electrodes and semiconductor nanowires supporting such scenario in typical regimes of EFM investigations are presented, evidencing the importance of a more rigorous modeling for EFM data interpretation. Furthermore, physical meaning of Kelvin potential as used in KPM applications can also be clarified by means of the reported formalism.

Electrostatic force microscopy and potentiometry of realistic nanostructured systems

PINGUE, Pasqualantonio
2009

Abstract

We investigate the dependency of electrostaticinteraction forces on applied potentials in electrostatic force microscopy (EFM) as well as in related local potentiometry techniques such as Kelvin probe microscopy (KPM). The approximated expression of electrostaticinteraction between two conductors, usually employed in EFM and KPM, may loose its validity when probe-sample distance is not very small, as often realized when realistic nanostructured systems with complex topography are investigated. In such conditions, electrostaticinteraction does not depend solely on the potential difference between probe and sample, but instead it may depend on the bias applied to each conductor. For instance, electrostatic force can change from repulsive to attractive for certain ranges of applied potentials and probe-sample distances, and this fact cannot be accounted for by approximated models. We propose a general capacitance model, even applicable to more than two conductors, considering values of potentials applied to each of the conductors to determine the resulting forces and force gradients, being able to account for the above phenomenon as well as to describe interactions at larger distances. Results from numerical simulations and experiments on metal stripe electrodes and semiconductor nanowires supporting such scenario in typical regimes of EFM investigations are presented, evidencing the importance of a more rigorous modeling for EFM data interpretation. Furthermore, physical meaning of Kelvin potential as used in KPM applications can also be clarified by means of the reported formalism.
scanning probe microscopy; kelvin probe microscopy; semiconductor nanowires
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11384/12619
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