Conductive atomic force microscopy (C-AFM) has been extensively used for making measurements of electrical properties of nanostructures, devices and multiphase materials. Despite its wide use, the mechanical and electrical interactions at the nanoscale between the tip and the sample surface are not yet well understood. These phenomena should be carefully studied and modeled in order to avoid significant measurement artifacts. In the present contribution a study of the interactions occurring between conductive tips and the surface of nanocrystalline silicon thin films that lead to measurement artifacts is presented. A significant deterioration of the tip coating was detected after a few maps, resulting in meaningless maps. The features of the map obtained dramatically depend on the tip coating characteristics and on the load conditions. Moreover, under a constant bias voltage, the electrical current passing through the tip–sample junction degenerates strongly with time. These phenomena were interpreted by considering the effect of strong electric fields present during C-AFM experiments.

Degeneracy and instability of nanocontacts between conductive tips and hydrogenated nanocrystalline Si surfaces in conductive atomic force microscopy

CAVALCOLI, DANIELA;CAVALLINI, ANNA
2009

Abstract

Conductive atomic force microscopy (C-AFM) has been extensively used for making measurements of electrical properties of nanostructures, devices and multiphase materials. Despite its wide use, the mechanical and electrical interactions at the nanoscale between the tip and the sample surface are not yet well understood. These phenomena should be carefully studied and modeled in order to avoid significant measurement artifacts. In the present contribution a study of the interactions occurring between conductive tips and the surface of nanocrystalline silicon thin films that lead to measurement artifacts is presented. A significant deterioration of the tip coating was detected after a few maps, resulting in meaningless maps. The features of the map obtained dramatically depend on the tip coating characteristics and on the load conditions. Moreover, under a constant bias voltage, the electrical current passing through the tip–sample junction degenerates strongly with time. These phenomena were interpreted by considering the effect of strong electric fields present during C-AFM experiments.
D. Cavalcoli; M. Rossi.; A. Tomasi; A.Cavallini
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/67290
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