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Quantitative Kelvin probe force microscopy of current-carrying devices

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Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM) should be a key tool for characterizing the device physics of nanoscale electronics because it can directly image electrostatic potentials. In practice, though, distant connective electrodes interfere with accurate KPFM potential measurements and compromise its applicability. A parameterized KPFM technique described here determines these influences empirically during imaging, so that accurate potential profiles can be deduced from arbitrary device geometries without additional modeling. The technique is demonstrated on current-carrying single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs), directly resolving average resistances per unit length of 70 kΩ/μm in semimetallic SWNTs and 200 kΩ/μm in semiconducting SWNTs. © 2013 American Institute of Physics.

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