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Title: Imaging of electrical response of NiO x under controlled environment with sub-25-nm resolution

The spatially resolved electrical response of rf-sputtered polycrystalline NiO x films composed of 40 nm crystallites was investigated under different relative humidity levels (RH). The topological and electrical properties (surface potential and resistance) were characterized using Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM) and conductive scanning probe microscopy at 0%, 50%, and 80% relative humidity with sub 25nm resolution. The surface potential of NiO x decreased by about 180 mV and resistance decreased in a nonlinear fashion by about 2 G when relative humidity was increased from 0% to 80%. The dimensionality of surface features obtained through autocorrelation analysis of topological, surface potential and resistance maps increased linearly with increased relative humidity as water was adsorbed onto the film surface. Spatially resolved surface potential and resistance of the NiO x films were found to be heterogeneous, with distinct features that grew in size from about 60 nm to 175 nm between 0% and 80% RH levels, respectively. Here, we find that the changes in the heterogeneous character of the NiO films are consistent through the topological, surface potential, and resistance measurements, suggesting that the nanoscale surface potential and resistance properties converge with the mesoscale properties as water is adsorbed onto the NiOmore » x film.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Science (CNMS)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Materials Science and Technology Div.
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725; CPS 24762; CPS 24764
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Photonics for Energy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 1947-7988
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program; USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; nickel oxide; humidity; local conductivity; KPFM; conductive AFM
OSTI Identifier: