High-Throughput Electrical Potential Depth-Profiling in Air

Kevin J. Rietwyk, David A. Keller, Koushik Majhi, Adam Ginsburg, Maayan Priel, Hannah Noa Barad, Assaf Y. Anderson, Arie Zaban

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The operation of thin-film electronic devices is dictated by the band alignment at the interfaces of the various layers. While a number of methods for measuring the depth profile of the electrical potential at interfaces have emerged, these are typically arduous to perform and involve the use of ultrahigh vacuum, complicated sample preparation, and/or suffer from poor resolution. Here a method to directly map the depth profile of the electrical potential is presented at an interface in air by growing a sample with an intentional thickness gradient and correlating the surface potential, measured using (macroscale) scanning Kelvin probe, to the thickness at each point. The approach is nondestructive and rapid, is ideal for large substrates and films grown with an inherent thickness gradient. It enjoys very high depth (2 nm) and energy resolution (5 meV), comparable to other methods. In this work, the method is developed and demonstrated on a TiO2|Co3O4 all-oxide junction and a depletion width of only 8.6 ± 3.8 nm in the Co3O4 layer is shown.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1700136
JournalAdvanced Materials Interfaces
Issue number16
StatePublished - 21 Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


K.J.R. received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 659774. This research was supported Israel Science Foundation (grant no. 1729/15) and the Israeli National Nanotechnology Initiative (INNI, FTA project).

FundersFunder number
Nanotechnology Initiative
Federal Transit Administration
National Nanotechnology Initiative
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme659774
Marie Curie Cancer Care
Israel Science Foundation1729/15
Horizon 2020


    • Kelvin probe
    • band alignment
    • depth-profiling
    • electrical characterization
    • solar cells


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