Reconstruction of surface potential from Kelvin probe force microscopy images

G. Cohen, E. Halpern, S. U. Nanayakkara, J. M. Luther, C. Held, R. Bennewitz, A. Boag, Y. Rosenwaks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present an algorithm for reconstructing a sample surface potential from its Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM) image. The measured KPFM image is a weighted average of the surface potential underneath the tip apex due to the long-range electrostatic forces. We model the KPFM measurement by a linear shift-invariant system where the impulse response is the point spread function (PSF). By calculating the PSF of the KPFM probe (tip+cantilever) and using the measured noise statistics, we deconvolve the measured KPFM image to obtain the surface potential of the sample.The reconstruction algorithm is applied to measurements of CdS-PbS nanorods measured in amplitude modulation KPFM (AM-KPFM) and to graphene layers measured in frequency modulation KPFM (FM-KPFM). We show that in the AM-KPFM measurements the averaging effect is substantial, whereas in the FM-KPFM measurements the averaging effect is negligible.

Original languageEnglish
Article number295702
Issue number29
StatePublished - 26 Jul 2013


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