Advanced Materials

Recent Trends in Surface Characterization and Chemistry with High-Resolution Scanning Force Methods

Authors

  • Clemens Barth,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre Interdisciplinaire de Nanoscience de Marseille (CINaM, The CINaM is associated with the Aix-Marseille University), CNRS, Campus de Luminy, Case 913, 13288 Marseille Cedex 09, France
    • Centre Interdisciplinaire de Nanoscience de Marseille (CINaM, The CINaM is associated with the Aix-Marseille University), CNRS, Campus de Luminy, Case 913, 13288 Marseille Cedex 09, France
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  • Adam S. Foster,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Physics, Tampere University of Technology, P.O. Box 692, FIN-33101 Tampere, Finland
    2. Department of Applied Physics, Aalto University School of Science and Technology, PO Box 11100 FI-00076 Helsinki, Finland
    • Department of Physics, Tampere University of Technology, P.O. Box 692, FIN-33101 Tampere, Finland
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  • Claude R. Henry,

    1. Centre Interdisciplinaire de Nanoscience de Marseille (CINaM, The CINaM is associated with the Aix-Marseille University), CNRS, Campus de Luminy, Case 913, 13288 Marseille Cedex 09, France
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  • Alexander L. Shluger

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Physics and Astronomy and the London Centre, for Nanotechnology, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK
    2. WPI-Advanced Institute of Materials Research, Tohoku University, 2-1-1 Kitahira, Aoba, Sendai, 980-8577, Japan
    • Department of Physics and Astronomy and the London Centre, for Nanotechnology, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK.
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Abstract

The current status and future prospects of non-contact atomic force microscopy (nc-AFM) and Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM) for studying insulating surfaces and thin insulating films in high resolution are discussed. The rapid development of these techniques and their use in combination with other scanning probe microscopy methods over the last few years has made them increasingly relevant for studying, controlling, and functionalizing the surfaces of many key materials. After introducing the instruments and the basic terminology associated with them, state-of-the-art experimental and theoretical studies of insulating surfaces and thin films are discussed, with specific focus on defects, atomic and molecular adsorbates, doping, and metallic nanoclusters. The latest achievements in atomic site-specific force spectroscopy and the identification of defects by crystal doping, work function, and surface charge imaging are reviewed and recent progress being made in high-resolution imaging in air and liquids is detailed. Finally, some of the key challenges for the future development of the considered fields are identified.

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