Departmental Papers (MSE)

Document Type

Conference Paper

Date of this Version

December 2002


One of the key limiting factors in current-based scanning probe microscopies (SPM) is the quality of tip-sample contact and stray capacitance in the probe-surface junction. We conduct impedance spectroscopy over a broad frequency range (40Hz~110MHz) through an AFM tip to quantify local electrical properties. Equivalent circuit for the tip-surface contact is constructed based on the impedance data and is used to study the mechanisms of relaxation in the near-tip region. Relative contributions of tip-surface contact and materials properties to the signal are discussed. This technique, referred to as Nanoimpedance Microscopy/Spectroscopy, is demonstrated in the imaging of an electronic ceramic: a ZnO varistor. Analysis of impedance spectra allows separation of tip-surface interactions and grain boundary behavior.


Copyright Materials Research Society. Reprinted from MRS Proceedings Volume 738.
2002 Fall Meeting Symposium G
Spatially Resolved Characterization of Local Phenomena in Materials and Nanostructures
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Date Posted: 05 November 2004

This document has been peer reviewed.