Local AFM based dielectric relaxation measurements (UPV/EHU)

Dielectric spectroscopy

Description

Dielectric spectroscopy consists in the study of the frequency dependent complex dielectric permittivity of insulator materials. The frequency range more commonly investigated is below a few GHz where the dielectric response of the insulator materials is usually dominated by orientational polarization processes. If the material under investigation contains permanent dipoles with a molecular origin, the dielectric spectroscopy would allow to get insight about the molecular motions.
The overwhelming interest in nanostructured materials during the last years has highlighted the lack of spatial resolution in dielectric spectroscopy measurements. As a result, an experimental method that combines the advantages of dielectric spectroscopy with the outstanding spatial resolution of the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) has been developed by combining standard AFM equipments in with a dedicated lock-in amplifier.

This set-up allows to determine the local dielectric relaxation behavior of thin films, with up to 20 nm lateral resolution, in a frequency range from 1 to 1MHz.

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