Charge trapping properties of electrons and holes in Au nanoparticles embedded in metal-insulator-semiconductor (MIS) on p-type Si (1 0 0) substrates were investigated by electrostatic force microscopy (EFM). The Au nanoparticles were prepared with a unique laser irradiation method and charged by applying a bias voltage between EFM tip and sample. The EFM system was used to image charged areas and to determine quantitatively the amount of stored charge in the Au nanoparticle-inserted MIS structure. In addition, charge trapping characteristics of the samples were carried out with electrical measurements, such as capacitance-voltage and current-voltage measurement for memory characteristics. Finally, the comparison of EFM results with the electrically measured data was done to determine the amount of stored charge in the Au nanoparticle-inserted MIS structure, confirming the usefulness of EFM system for the characterization of nanoparticle-based non-volatile devices.
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