Near-Field Imaging of Free Carriers in ZnO Nanowires with a Scanning Probe Tip Made of Heavily Doped Germanium

Abstract : A novel scanning probe tip made of heavily doped semiconductor is fabricated and used instead of standard gold-coated tips in infrared scattering-type near-field microscopy. Midinfrared near-field microscopy experiments are conducted on ZnO nanowires with a lateral resolution better than 100 nm, using tips made of heavily electron-doped germanium with a plasma frequency in the midinfrared (plasma wavelength of 9.5 μm). Nanowires embedded in a dielectric matrix are imaged at two wavelengths, 11.3 and 8.0 μm, above and below the plasma wavelength of the tips. An opposite sign of the imaging contrasts between the nanowire and the dielectric matrix is observed at the two infrared wavelengths, indicating a clear role of the free-electron plasma in the heavily doped germanium tip in building the imaging contrast. Electromagnetic simulations with a multispherical dipole model accounting for the finite size of the tip are well consistent with the experiments. By comparison of the simulated and measured imaging contrasts, an estimate for the local free-carrier density in the investigated ZnO nanowires in the low 10 19 cm −3 range is retrieved. The results are benchmarked against the scattering intensity and phase maps obtained on the same sample with a gold-coated probe tip in pseudoheterodyne detection mode.
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Emilie Sakat, Valeria Giliberti, Monica Bollani, Andrea Notargiacomo, Marialilia Pea, et al.. Near-Field Imaging of Free Carriers in ZnO Nanowires with a Scanning Probe Tip Made of Heavily Doped Germanium. Physical Review Applied, American Physical Society, 2017, 8 (5), pp.054042. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevApplied.8.054042⟩. ⟨hal-01698535⟩

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