Analysis of the electrical properties of nanostructures is crucial for the successful development of practical materials that take advantage of atomic-scale properties. Examination at this size regime can be accomplished with a variety of instrumentation, but few tools are as flexible and potent as nanoprobe systems.
Oxford Instruments Omicron Nanoscience’s 2013 R&D 100 Award-winning LT Nanoprobe, for example, offers four individual and independent ultrahigh-vacuum scanning probe microscopes to permit precise nanoscale electrical transport measurements. The scanning probe microscopes act as fine electrical probes, enabling scanning probe microscopy, scanning tunneling microscopy, scanning tunneling spectroscopy and atom manipulation. A specially designed bath cryostat allows tip navigation using scanning electron microscopy, and superconducting leads minimize thermal load in the magnetic coil. The key addition to this instrument is the QPlus non-contact atomic force microscopy mode that is particularly used in locating and studying the electrical properties of nanostructures on insulating substrates.