High-resolution capacitance measurement and potentiometry by force microscopy

Martin, Yves; Abraham, David W.; Wickramasinghe, H. Kumar
March 1988
Applied Physics Letters;3/28/1988, Vol. 52 Issue 13, p1103
Academic Journal
We demonstrate the usefulness and high sensitivity of the atomic force microscope (AFM) for imaging surface dielectric properties and for potentiometry through the detection of electrostatic forces. Electric forces as small as 10-10 N have been measured, corresponding to a capacitance of 10-19 farad. The sensitivity of our AFM should ultimately allow us to detect capacitances as low as 8×10-22 F. The method enables us to detect the presence of dielectric material over Si, and to measure the voltage in a p-n junction with submicron spatial resolution.


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