Quantifying the dielectric constant of thick insulators using electrostatic force microscopy

Fumagalli, L.; Gramse, G.; Esteban-Ferrer, D.; Edwards, M. A.; Gomila, G.
May 2010
Applied Physics Letters;5/3/2010, Vol. 96 Issue 18, p183107
Academic Journal
Quantitative measurement of the low-frequency dielectric constants of thick insulators at the nanoscale is demonstrated utilizing ac electrostatic force microscopy combined with finite-element calculations based on a truncated cone with hemispherical apex probe geometry. The method is validated on muscovite mica, borosilicate glass, poly(ethylene naphthalate), and poly(methyl methacrylate). The dielectric constants obtained are essentially given by a nanometric volume located at the dielectric-air interface below the tip, independently of the substrate thickness, provided this is on the hundred micrometer-length scale, or larger.


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