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Probing Local Surface Potential of Quasi-One-Dimensional Systems: A KPFM Study of P3HT Nanofibers

Authors

  • Andrea Liscio,

    1. Istituto per la Sintesi Organica e la Fotoreattività, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna (Italy)
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  • Vincenzo Palermo,

    Corresponding author
    1. Istituto per la Sintesi Organica e la Fotoreattività, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna (Italy)
    • Istituto per la Sintesi Organica e la Fotoreattività, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna (Italy).
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  • Paolo Samorı`

    Corresponding author
    1. Nanochemistry Laboratory, ISIS – CNRS 7006, Université Louis Pasteur 8, allée Gaspard Monge, 67083 Strasbourg (France)
    2. Istituto per la Sintesi Organica e la Fotoreattività, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna (Italy)
    • Nanochemistry Laboratory, ISIS – CNRS 7006, Université Louis Pasteur 8, allée Gaspard Monge, 67083 Strasbourg (France).
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  • This work was supported by the ESF-SONS2-SUPRAMATES project, the Regione Emilia-Romagna PRIITT Nanofaber Net-Lab and the EU through the projects ForceTool (NMP4-CT-2004-013684) and Marie Curie EST-SUPER (MEST-CT-2004-008128). Supporting Information is available online from Wiley InterScience or from the author.

Abstract

A new model for the quantitative analysis of Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy (KPFM) measurements of quasi-one-dimensional systems is presented. It is applied to precisely determine the local surface potential (SP) of semiconducting nanofibers of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) self-assembled on various flat substrates. To study these quasi-one dimensional objects, the effective area has been defined. This parameter represents the area of sample surface interacting with the KPFM probe and it plays a crucial role in the estimation of the SP of nanofibers having a cross-section comparable to the apical diameter of the tip, i.e., 20 nm. Therefore our model makes it possible to gain quantitative insight into nano-systems smaller than 20 nm. In particular, through the estimation of the effective area, it allows to determine the local surface potential of single nanofiber as well as to simulate the KPFM image of nano-assemblies adsorbed both on electrically insulating and conducting substrates. This versatile model represents a useful tool to study with a high degree of precision the surface potential characteristics of nanowires paving the way towards their use as building blocks for the fabrication of electronic nanodevices with improved performance.

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