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T-00427: Development of Novel Instrumentation to probe Nanoscale Charge Carrier Dynamics with High Temporal and Spatial Resolution


Atomic force microscopy is undoubtedly the most adaptable and powerful microscopy technology used in studying samples at nanoscale (10−9). It is adaptable because, an atomic force microscope can not only image in three dimensional topography, but it also provides several types of surface measurements to the immediate need of scientists and engineers. It is a powerful tool that can generate images at atomic resolution with angstrom scale resolution height information and with minimum sample prep.


An atomic force microscope (AFM) based instrumentation, integrated with bias modulated hardware to probe local carrier dynamics in nanostructured and disordered materials, with high spatial resolution, have been developed. This integrated measurement system will probe charge carrier dynamics and map carrier density transport/recombination lifetimes, diffusion length, mobility and recombination rates in a wide variety of photovoltaic materials and devices based on a Conductive (C-AFM) scanner head integrated with modulated bias hardware (function generator, frequency response analyzer, high bandwidth oscilloscope and modulated laser sources). In addition, the experimental setup of photo-CELIV measurements, using Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) tool that allow measurement of charge carrier mobility and carrier concentration at different locations of the film surface, was designed too.


  • This instrumentation based on conductive AFM approach, will enable researchers to vividly understand and quantify local charge transport parameters in various organic semiconductors, inorganic nanostructures and their hybrids in nanoscale resolution for the first time.
  • This technology will aid in understanding problems related to thin film materials in nanoscale regime and the system is powerful in analyzing local charge carrier problems to make highly efficient thin film devices.