Nanoscale linear permittivity imaging based on scanning nonlinear dielectric microscopy

Yoshiomi Hiranaga, Norimichi Chinone, Yasuo Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


A nanoscale linear permittivity imaging method based on scanning nonlinear dielectric microscopy (SNDM) was developed. The ∂C/∂z-mode SNDM (∂C/∂z-SNDM) technique described herein employs probe-height modulation to suppress disturbances originating from stray capacitance and to improve measurement stability. This method allows local permittivity distributions to be examined with extremely low noise levels (approximately 0.01 aF) by virtue of the highly sensitive probe. A cross-section of a multilayer oxide film was visualized using ∂C/∂z-SNDM as a demonstration, and numerical simulations of the response signals were conducted to gain additional insights. The experimental signal intensities were found to be in a good agreement with the theoretical values, with the exception of the background components, demonstrating that absolute sample permittivity values could be determined. The signal profiles near the boundaries between different dielectrics were calculated using various vibration amplitudes and the boundary transition widths were obtained. The beneficial aspects of higher-harmonic response imaging are discussed herein, taking into account assessments of spatial resolution and quantitation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number205709
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Mar 26


  • dielectric material dielectric thin films
  • permittivity
  • scanning nonlinear dielectric microscopy
  • scanning probe microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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