Advanced Concepts and Applications

Imaging of electrical response of NiOx under controlled environment with sub-25-nm resolution

[+] Author Affiliations
Christopher B. Jacobs, Anton V. Ievlev, Liam F. Collins, Eric S. Muckley, Ilia N. Ivanov

Center for Nanophase Materials Science, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, P.O. Box 2008, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831–6496, United States

Pooran C. Joshi

Materials Science and Technology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, P.O. Box 2008, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, United States

J. Photon. Energy. 6(3), 038001 (Jul 19, 2016). doi:10.1117/1.JPE.6.038001
History: Received April 14, 2016; Accepted June 28, 2016
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Abstract.  The spatially resolved electrical response of polycrystalline NiOx films, composed of 40 nm crystallites, was investigated under different relative humidity (RH) levels. The topological and electrical properties (surface potential and resistance) were characterized with sub-25-nm resolution using Kelvin probe force microscopy and conductive scanning probe microscopy under argon atmosphere with 0%, 50%, and 80% RH. The dimensionality of surface features obtained through autocorrelation analysis of topological maps increased linearly with increased RH, as water was adsorbed onto the film surface. Surface potential decreased from 280 to 100 mV and resistance decreased from 5  GΩ to 3  GΩ, in a nonlinear fashion when RH was increased from 0% to 80%. Spatially resolved surface potential and resistance of the NiOx films was found to be heterogeneous throughout the film, with distinct surface features that grew in size from 60 to 175 nm at 0% and 80% RH levels, respectively. The heterogeneous character of the topological, surface potential, and resistance properties of the polycrystalline NiOx film observed under dry conditions decreased with increased RH, yielding nearly homogeneous surface properties at 80% RH, suggesting that the nanoscale potential and resistance properties converge with the mesoscale properties as water is adsorbed onto the NiOx film.

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© 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Christopher B. Jacobs ; Anton V. Ievlev ; Liam F. Collins ; Eric S. Muckley ; Pooran C. Joshi, et al.
"Imaging of electrical response of NiOx under controlled environment with sub-25-nm resolution", J. Photon. Energy. 6(3), 038001 (Jul 19, 2016). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.JPE.6.038001


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