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Chin. Phys. B, 2023, Vol. 32(3): 037202    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/aca7e6

Quantitative measurement of the charge carrier concentration using dielectric force microscopy

Junqi Lai(赖君奇)1,2, Bowen Chen(陈博文)1,2, Zhiwei Xing(邢志伟)3, Xuefei Li(李雪飞)3, Shulong Lu(陆书龙)2,3, Qi Chen(陈琪)1,2,†, and Liwei Chen(陈立桅)1,4,‡
1 i-Lab, CAS Center for Excellence in Nanoscience, Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Suzhou 215123, China;
2 School of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China;
3 Key Laboratory of Nanodevices and Applications, Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Suzhou 215123, China;
4 In-situ Center for Physical Sciences, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
Abstract  The charge carrier concentration profile is a critical factor that determines semiconducting material properties and device performance. Dielectric force microscopy (DFM) has been previously developed to map charge carrier concentrations with nanometer-scale spatial resolution. However, it is challenging to quantitatively obtain the charge carrier concentration, since the dielectric force is also affected by the mobility. Here, we quantitative measured the charge carrier concentration at the saturation mobility regime via the rectification effect-dependent gating ratio of DFM. By measuring a series of n-type GaAs and GaN thin films with mobility in the saturation regime, we confirmed the decreased DFM-measured gating ratio with increasing electron concentration. Combined with numerical simulation to calibrate the tip-sample geometry-induced systematic error, the quantitative correlation between the DFM-measured gating ratio and the electron concentration has been established, where the extracted electron concentration presents high accuracy in the range of 4×1016 - 1×1018 cm-3. We expect the quantitative DFM to find broad applications in characterizing the charge carrier transport properties of various semiconducting materials and devices.
Keywords:  dielectric force microscopy      charge carrier concentration      quantitative measurement      numerical simulation  
Received:  25 July 2022      Revised:  27 November 2022      Accepted manuscript online:  02 December 2022
PACS:  72.20.-i (Conductivity phenomena in semiconductors and insulators)  
  72.80.Ey (III-V and II-VI semiconductors)  
  68.37.Ps (Atomic force microscopy (AFM))  
  02.60.-x (Numerical approximation and analysis)  
Fund: Project supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (Grant No. 2021YFA1202802), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 21875280, 21991150, 21991153, and 22022205), the CAS Project for Young Scientists in Basic Research (Grant No. YSBR-054), and the Special Foundation for Carbon Peak Neutralization Technology Innovation Program of Jiangsu Province, China (Grant No. BE2022026).
Corresponding Authors:  Qi Chen, Liwei Chen     E-mail:;

Cite this article: 

Junqi Lai(赖君奇), Bowen Chen(陈博文), Zhiwei Xing(邢志伟), Xuefei Li(李雪飞), Shulong Lu(陆书龙), Qi Chen(陈琪), and Liwei Chen(陈立桅) Quantitative measurement of the charge carrier concentration using dielectric force microscopy 2023 Chin. Phys. B 32 037202

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