Electrostatic force microscopy on oriented graphite surfaces: Coexistence of insulating and conducting behaviors

  • Lu Y
  • Muñoz M
  • Steplecaru C
 et al. 
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We present measurements of the electric potential fluctuations on the surface of highly oriented pyrolytic graphite using electrostatic force and atomic force microscopy. Micrometric domainlike potential distributions are observed even when the sample is grounded. Such potential distributions are unexpected given the good metallic conductivity of graphite because the surface should be an equipotential. Our results indicate the coexistence of regions with "metalliclike" and "insulatinglike" behaviors showing large potential fluctuations of the order of 0.25 V. In lower quality graphite, this effect is not observed. Experiments are performed in Ar and air atmospheres.

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  • Yonghua Lu

  • M. Muñoz

  • C. S. Steplecaru

  • Cheng Hao

  • Ming Bai

  • N. Garcia

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