In this study, quantitative Electric Force Microscopy (EFM) characterization of CNTs dispersed in free-standing polymer composite films is pursued. The effect of experimental parameters including humidity conditions, EFM probe geometry, tip-sample distance, and bias voltage on the EFM contrast is studied. A new mechanism for subsurface EFM contrast of CNTs is proposed based on the experimental findings. We anticipate that quantitative EFM technique will be a powerful tool for subsurface characterization of high dielectric nanostructures in low dielectric materials, with a broad range of applications in nanotechnology.
Pub Type: Journals
Electric Force Microscopy, EFM, SPM, subsurface, carbon nanotube, CNT, polymer composites