Skip to Main Content
Measurements of the physical form and morphology of dielectrics and of their chemical characteristics and physical properties have become increasingly important at micron and sub-micron length scales. Such length scales are accessible by different forms of microscopy but scanning probe methods allow both chemical and physical measurements to be made, in addition to morphological and typographical imaging, at nanoscopic and mesoscopic length scales. These measurements are described in this paper with examples drawn from many areas of dielectric research and applications, including polymer morphology, surface and subsurface charge measurements along with the dynamics of charge-decay, surface potential and work function, microelectronics, ferroelectrics, photocharging, dielectric response and nanoscopic relaxation and nanoscopic Raman spectroscopy. The future of scanning probe methods for dielectric measurements is assured but more effort is required to both develop and consolidate this form of nano-metrology.