Carrier trapping study on a Ge nanocrystal by two-pass lift mode electrostatic force microscopy

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Lin, Zhen
Brunkov, Pavel N.
Bassani, Franck
Descamps, Armel
O'Dwyer, Colm
Bremond, Georges
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Trapped charges inside an isolated germanium nanocrystal (Ge NC) have been studied by two-pass lift mode electrostatic force microscopy (EFM) measurements at room temperature. From visualized EFM images, electrons and holes were proven to be successfully injected and trapped in the Ge NC and distributed homogenously at the edge of its truncated spherical morphology. The Ge NC is found to have iso-potential surface and behave as a conductive material after being charged. It is also shown that the dominant charge decay mechanism during discharging of Ge NCs is related to the leakage of these trapped charges. A truncated capacitor model is used to approximate the real capacitance between the tip and Ge NC surface and to quantitatively study these trapped charges. These investigations demonstrate the potential for Ge nanocrystal memory applications.
Electrostatic force microscopy , Germanium nanocrystal , Memory device , Nanostructure
Lin, Z., Brunkov, P., Bassani, F., Descamps, A., O’Dwyer, C. and Bremond, G. (2015) 'Carrier trapping study on a Ge nanocrystal by two-pass lift mode electrostatic force microscopy', Materials Research Express, 2(3), 035001 (10pp). doi: 10.1088/2053-1591/2/3/035001
This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication in Materials Research Express. The publisher is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from it. The Version of Record is available online at