Charging of single Si nanocrystals by atomic force microscopy
Conducting-tip atomic force microscopy (AFM) has been used to electronically probe silicon nanocrystals on an insulating substrate. The nanocrystal samples were produced by aerosol techniques and size classified; nanocrystal size can be controlled in the size range of 2–50 nm with a size variation of less than 10%. Using a conducting tip, the charge was injected directly into the nanocrystals, and the subsequent dissipation of the charge was monitored. Estimates of the injected charge can be made by comparison of the data with an intermittent contact mode model of the AFM response to the electrostatic force produced by the stored charge. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.