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Title: Evaluation of the electrical contact area in contact-mode scanning probe microscopy

The tunneling current through an atomic force microscopy (AFM) tip is used to evaluate the effective electrical contact area, which exists between tip and sample in contact-AFM electrical measurements. A simple procedure for the evaluation of the effective electrical contact area is described using conductive atomic force microscopy (C-AFM) in combination with a thin dielectric. We characterize the electrical contact area for coated metal and doped-diamond tips operated at low force (<200 nN) in contact mode. In both cases, we observe that only a small fraction (<10 nm{sup 2}) of the physical contact (∼100 nm{sup 2}) is effectively contributing to the transport phenomena. Assuming this reduced area is confined to the central area of the physical contact, these results explain the sub-10 nm electrical resolution observed in C-AFM measurements.
Authors:
; ;  [1] ;  [2] ; ; ; ;  [1]
  1. IMEC, Kapeldreef 75, B-3001 Heverlee (Leuven) (Belgium)
  2. (IKS), KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200D, 3001 Leuven (Belgium)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22412874
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 117; Journal Issue: 21; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; ATOMIC FORCE MICROSCOPY; DIAMONDS; DIELECTRIC MATERIALS; DOPED MATERIALS; ELECTRIC CONTACTS; ELECTRIC CURRENTS; METALS; PROBES; RESOLUTION; TUNNEL EFFECT