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Title: Breaking the Time Barrier in Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy: Fast Free Force Reconstruction Using the G-Mode Platform

Abstract

The atomic force microscope (AFM) offers unparalleled insight into structure and material functionality across nanometer length scales. However, the spatial resolution afforded by the AFM tip is counterpoised by slow detection speeds compared to other common microscopy techniques (e.g. optical, scanning electron microscopy etc.). In this work, we develop an AFM imaging approach allowing ultrafast reconstruction of the tip-sample forces having ~2 orders of magnitude higher time resolution than standard detection methods. Fast free force recovery (F3R) overcomes the widely-viewed temporal bottleneck in AFM, i.e. the mechanical bandwidth of the cantilever, enabling time-resolved imaging at sub-bandwidth speeds. We demonstrate quantitative recovery of electrostatic forces with ~10 µs temporal resolution, free from cantilever ring-down effects. We further apply the F3R method to Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM) measurements. F3R-KPFM is an open loop imaging approach (i.e. no bias feedback), allowing ultrafast surface potential measurements (e.g. < 20 µs) to be performed at regular KPFM scan speeds. F3R-KPFM is demonstrated for exploration of ion migration in organometallic halide perovskites materials and shown to allow spatio-temporal imaging of positively charged ion migration under applied electric field, as well as subsequent formation of accumulated charges at the perovskite/electrode interface. In this work we demonstratemore » quantitative F3R-KPFM measurements – however, we fully expect the F3R approach to be valid for all modes of non-contact AFM operation, including non-invasive probing of ultrafast electrical and magnetic dynamics.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [1];  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1399933
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
ACS Nano
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 11; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 1936-0851
Publisher:
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY

Citation Formats

Collins, Liam, Ahmadi, Mahshid, Wu, Ting, Hu, Bin, Kalinin, Sergei V., and Jesse, Stephen. Breaking the Time Barrier in Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy: Fast Free Force Reconstruction Using the G-Mode Platform. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1021/acsnano.7b02114.
Collins, Liam, Ahmadi, Mahshid, Wu, Ting, Hu, Bin, Kalinin, Sergei V., & Jesse, Stephen. Breaking the Time Barrier in Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy: Fast Free Force Reconstruction Using the G-Mode Platform. United States. doi:10.1021/acsnano.7b02114.
Collins, Liam, Ahmadi, Mahshid, Wu, Ting, Hu, Bin, Kalinin, Sergei V., and Jesse, Stephen. 2017. "Breaking the Time Barrier in Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy: Fast Free Force Reconstruction Using the G-Mode Platform". United States. doi:10.1021/acsnano.7b02114.
@article{osti_1399933,
title = {Breaking the Time Barrier in Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy: Fast Free Force Reconstruction Using the G-Mode Platform},
author = {Collins, Liam and Ahmadi, Mahshid and Wu, Ting and Hu, Bin and Kalinin, Sergei V. and Jesse, Stephen},
abstractNote = {The atomic force microscope (AFM) offers unparalleled insight into structure and material functionality across nanometer length scales. However, the spatial resolution afforded by the AFM tip is counterpoised by slow detection speeds compared to other common microscopy techniques (e.g. optical, scanning electron microscopy etc.). In this work, we develop an AFM imaging approach allowing ultrafast reconstruction of the tip-sample forces having ~2 orders of magnitude higher time resolution than standard detection methods. Fast free force recovery (F3R) overcomes the widely-viewed temporal bottleneck in AFM, i.e. the mechanical bandwidth of the cantilever, enabling time-resolved imaging at sub-bandwidth speeds. We demonstrate quantitative recovery of electrostatic forces with ~10 µs temporal resolution, free from cantilever ring-down effects. We further apply the F3R method to Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM) measurements. F3R-KPFM is an open loop imaging approach (i.e. no bias feedback), allowing ultrafast surface potential measurements (e.g. < 20 µs) to be performed at regular KPFM scan speeds. F3R-KPFM is demonstrated for exploration of ion migration in organometallic halide perovskites materials and shown to allow spatio-temporal imaging of positively charged ion migration under applied electric field, as well as subsequent formation of accumulated charges at the perovskite/electrode interface. In this work we demonstrate quantitative F3R-KPFM measurements – however, we fully expect the F3R approach to be valid for all modes of non-contact AFM operation, including non-invasive probing of ultrafast electrical and magnetic dynamics.},
doi = {10.1021/acsnano.7b02114},
journal = {ACS Nano},
number = 9,
volume = 11,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month = 8
}

Journal Article:
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  • Since its inception over two decades ago, Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM) has become the standard technique for characterizing electrostatic, electrochemical and electronic properties at the nanoscale. In this work, we present a purely digital, software-based approach to KPFM utilizing big data acquisition and analysis methods. General Mode (G-Mode) KPFM, works by capturing the entire photodetector data stream, typically at the sampling rate limit, followed by subsequent de-noising, analysis and compression of the cantilever response. We demonstrate that the G-Mode approach allows simultaneous multi-harmonic detection, combined with on-the-fly transfer function correction required for quantitative CPD mapping. The KPFM approach outlinedmore » in this work significantly simplifies the technique by avoiding cumbersome instrumentation optimization steps (i.e. lock in parameters, feedback gains etc.), while also retaining the flexibility to be implemented on any atomic force microscopy platform. We demonstrate the added advantages of G-Mode KPFM by allowing simultaneous mapping of CPD and capacitance gradient (C') channels as well as increased flexibility in data exploration across frequency, time, space, and noise domains. As a result, G-Mode KPFM is particularly suitable for characterizing voltage sensitive materials or for operation in conductive electrolytes, and will be useful for probing electrodynamics in photovoltaics, liquids and ionic conductors.« less
  • Conventional closed loop-Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM) has emerged as a powerful technique for probing electric and transport phenomena at the solid-gas interface. The extension of KPFM capabilities to probe electrostatic and electrochemical phenomena at the solid–liquid interface is of interest for a broad range of applications from energy storage to biological systems. However, the operation of KPFM implicitly relies on the presence of a linear lossless dielectric in the probe-sample gap, a condition which is violated for ionically-active liquids (e.g., when diffuse charge dynamics are present). Here, electrostatic and electrochemical measurements are demonstrated in ionically-active (polar isopropanol, milli-Q watermore » and aqueous NaCl) and ionically-inactive (non-polar decane) liquids by electrochemical force microscopy (EcFM), a multidimensional (i.e., bias- and time-resolved) spectroscopy method. In the absence of mobile charges (ambient and non-polar liquids), KPFM and EcFM are both feasible, yielding comparable contact potential difference (CPD) values. In ionically-active liquids, KPFM is not possible and EcFM can be used to measure the dynamic CPD and a rich spectrum of information pertaining to charge screening, ion diffusion, and electrochemical processes (e.g., Faradaic reactions). EcFM measurements conducted in isopropanol and milli-Q water over Au and highly ordered pyrolytic graphite electrodes demonstrate both sample- and solvent-dependent features. Finally, the feasibility of using EcFM as a local force-based mapping technique of material-dependent electrostatic and electrochemical response is investigated. The resultant high dimensional dataset is visualized using a purely statistical approach that does not require a priori physical models, allowing for qualitative mapping of electrostatic and electrochemical material properties at the solid–liquid interface.« less
  • Organic photovoltaic systems comprising donor polymers and acceptor fullerene derivatives are attractive for inexpensive energy harvesting. Extensive research on polymer solar cells has provided insight into the factors governing device-level efficiency and stability. However, the detailed investigation of nanoscale structures is still challenging. Here we demonstrate the analysis and modification of unidentified surface aggregates. The aggregates are characterized electrically by Kelvin probe force microscopy and conductive atomic force microscopy (C-AFM), whereby the correlation between local electrical potential and current confirms a defective charge transport. Bimodal AFM modification confirms that the aggregates exist on top of the solar cell structure, andmore » is used to remove them and to reveal the underlying active layer. The systematic analysis of the surface aggregates suggests that the structure consists of PCBM molecules.« less
  • Potential variations across the grain boundaries (GBs) in a 100 nm thick undoped n-BaSi{sub 2} film on a cast-grown multicrystalline Si (mc-Si) substrate are evaluated using Kelvin probe force microscopy (KFM). The θ-2θ X-ray diffraction pattern reveals diffraction peaks, such as (201), (301), (410), and (411) of BaSi{sub 2}. Local-area electron backscatter diffraction reveals that the a-axis of BaSi{sub 2} is tilted slightly from the surface normal, depending on the local crystal plane of the mc-Si. KFM measurements show that the potentials are not significantly disordered in the grown BaSi{sub 2}, even around the GBs of mc-Si. The potentials are highermore » at GBs of BaSi{sub 2} around Si GBs that are formed by grains with a Si(111) face and those with faces that deviate slightly from Si(111). Thus, downward band bending occurs at these BaSi{sub 2} GBs. Minority carriers (holes) undergo a repelling force near the GBs, which may suppress recombination as in the case of undoped n-BaSi{sub 2} epitaxial films on a single crystal Si(111) substrate. The barrier height for hole transport across the GBs varies in the range from 10 to 55 meV. The potentials are also higher at the BaSi{sub 2} GBs grown around Si GBs composed of grains with Si(001) and Si(111) faces. The barrier height for hole transport ranges from 5 to 55 meV. These results indicate that BaSi{sub 2} GBs formed on (111)-dominant Si surfaces do not have a negative influence on the minority-carrier properties, and thus BaSi{sub 2} formed on underlayers, such as (111)-oriented Si or Ge and on (111)-oriented mc-Si, can be utilized as a solar cell active layer.« less