Observation of the enhanced tunnel current of NiO thin films in grain boundary by peakforce TUNA

Yidong Zhang (Key Laboratory for Micro-Nano Energy Storage and Conversion Materials of Henan Province, Institute of Surface Micro and Nano Materials, Xuchang University, Xuchang, P.R. China)

Microelectronics International

ISSN: 1356-5362

Publication date: 7 October 2019



The purpose of this paper is to investigate the nanoscale electric performance of NiO thin films in grain boundary and grain face.


PeakForce tunnel atomic force is applied to visualize the nanoscale current imaging of the NiO thin film on fluorine tin oxide substrate.


The results show that the grain boundary has a significant impact on the nanoscale current of the NiO film. The electronic conductivity and in grain boundary is higher than that of the NiO film in grain face. The width of the conductive zone in the NiO film over grain boundaries is ∼ 60 nm. The tunnel current between the tip and the NiO film is consistent with the Fowler–Nordheim tunnel model.


The higher tunnel current in grain boundary is probably attributed to the enhanced energy band bending and adhesion force.



This work was financially supported by the scientific and technological project of Henan province, the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Program for Innovative Research Team (in Science and Technology) inHenan University.


Zhang, Y. (2019), "Observation of the enhanced tunnel current of NiO thin films in grain boundary by peakforce TUNA", Microelectronics International, Vol. 36 No. 4, pp. 160-164. https://doi.org/10.1108/MI-02-2019-0008

Download as .RIS



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.