Fast, high-resolution surface potential measurements in air with heterodyne Kelvin probe force microscopy

Fast, high-resolution surface potential measurements in air with heterodyne Kelvin probe force microscopy

Year:2016
Author(s):Joseph L Garrett and Jeremy N Munday
Citation(s):Nanotechnology, 27, 245705 (2016)

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Abstract: Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM) adapts an atomic force microscope to measure electric potential on surfaces at nanometer length scales. Here we demonstrate that Heterodyne-KPFM enables scan rates of several frames per minute in air, and concurrently maintains spatial resolution and voltage sensitivity comparable to frequency-modulation KPFM, the current spatial resolution standard. Two common classes of topography-coupled artifacts are shown to be avoidable with H-KPFM. A second implementation of H-KPFM is also introduced, in which the voltage signal is amplified by the first cantilever resonance for enhanced sensitivity. The enhanced temporal resolution of H-KPFM can enable the imaging of many dynamic processes, such as such as electrochromic switching, phase transitions, and device degredation (battery, solar, etc), which take place over seconds to minutes and involve changes in electric potential at nanometer lengths.