This section provides an overview for kelvin probes as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 6 kelvin probe manufacturers and their company rankings.
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The kelvin probe method is a measurement technique for microscopy. A metal probe is placed close to the sample surface and the contact potential difference between the sample and the probe is measured due to the difference in work functions between the sample and the probe. A probe with a known work function, the work function of the sample surface can be determined.
The work function of a sample surface varies depending on the quality of the thin film and the presence of impurities. In solar cells and sensors, thin film quality and higher-order structure can affect device properties. By measuring thin films deposited under various conditions using the kelvin probe method, it is possible to analyze the correlation between film structure and characteristics.
Measurements using the kelvin probes are often used in metal and semiconductor materials. Silicon solar cells, organic thin film solar cells, organic ELs, and electrode surfaces are analyzed using kelvin probes. Since it is possible to map the work function of the surface with the kelvin probe, analysis is performed together with the image of the surface measured with a microscope.
The kelvin probes method can also be used to identify corroded areas of metals by mapping the work function. Since the work function changes at locations where chemical changes such as corrosion have occurred, it is possible to map where unexpected reactions are occurring in the sample.
Kelvin probing is a technique that utilizes electron transfer between the sample surface and the probe.
The kelvin probes method is based on atomic force microscopy (AFM) and has a spatial resolution on the order of micrometers.
In the kelvin probe method, a metallic probe is brought into contact with the sample surface. When the probe comes into contact with the sample surface, electrons move and the fermi level changes, resulting in a change in the potential of the sample surface. Since this potential change is a value that depends on the work functions of the probe and sample, the work function of the sample surface can be obtained by using a probe with a known work function. By bringing the probe into contact with the entire sample, it is possible to map the work function in the thin film, and from the change in the work function, it is possible to identify the locations where corrosion and film quality changes occur.
The kelvin probes method enables nondestructive measurement of samples. Both organic and inorganic thin films can be measured. Therefore, it is sometimes used to measure the work function of each layer in the cross section of a multilayer film, or to measure the work function during the thin film growth process.
In addition, it is sometimes used for basic physical chemistry research, such as analyzing chemical reactions that occur on catalyst surfaces based on changes in the work function of the surface.
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