Resolution and contrast in Kelvin probe force microscopy

H. O. Jacobs, P. Leuchtmann, O. J. Homan, A. Stemmer
1998 Journal of Applied Physics  
The combination of atomic force microscopy and Kelvin probe technology is a powerful tool to obtain high-resolution maps of the surface potential distribution on conducting and nonconducting samples. However, resolution and contrast transfer of this method have not been fully understood, so far. To obtain a better quantitative understanding, we introduce a model which correlates the measured potential with the actual surface potential distribution, and we compare numerical simulations of the
more » ... mulations of the three-dimensional tip-specimen model with experimental data from test structures. The observed potential is a locally weighted average over all potentials present on the sample surface. The model allows us to calculate these weighting factors and, furthermore, leads to the conclusion that good resolution in potential maps is obtained by long and slender but slightly blunt tips on cantilevers of minimal width and surface area.
doi:10.1063/1.368181 fatcat:soq7ujigdbbbzi4szzewd7ls5u