Recent years have seen a proliferation of scanning probe microscopy (SPM) techniques that can probe and manipulate a diverse range of materials and devices. In particular, SPM methods that employ a conductive tip are well suited for probing electronic and electrochemical phenomena of direct relevance to electronic and energy technologies. Conductive SPM is also a versatile nanofabrication tool, which can create nearly arbitrary nanopatterns of oxide, metals, and organics on solid substrates. In this Feature Article, we provide an overview of recent conductive SPM work from our laboratory regarding the characterization and nanopatterning of electronic and energy materials. The discussion begins by describing the methodologies used to characterize organic photovoltaics and transparent conducting oxides. We then illustrate how different SPM techniques are applied to the more complex electrochemical environments presented by Li-ion batteries and other electrochemical systems. Lastly, the use of conductive atomic force microscopy to probe and nanopattern electronically inhomogeneous substrates, such as epitaxial graphene layers on silicon carbide, is presented.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films