Scanning single-electron transistor microscopy: Imaging individual charges

M. J. Yoo, T. A. Fulton, H. F. Hess, R. L. Willett, L. N. Dunkleberger, R. J. Chichester, L. N. Pfeiffer, K. W. West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We describe the single-electron transistor scanning electrometer (SETSE), a novel scanned probe microscope capable of mapping static electric fields and charges with submicron (100nm) spatial resolution and fractional electron charge sensitivity (0.01e). The active sensing element of the SETSE is a single-electron transistor fabricated at the end of a sharp glass tip. Images of the surface electric fields of a GaAs/AlGaAs heterostructure sample taken before and after brief exposures to light show individual photoionized charge sites as well as 100nm length scale fluctuations in the dopant and surface charge distribution. We also describe SETSE images and measurements of depleted regions, local capacitance, band bending, and work functions at submicron length scales on the surface of this model semiconductor device.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-14
Number of pages7
JournalPhysica E: Low-Dimensional Systems and Nanostructures
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Oct 16 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


  • Scanning single-electron transistor microscopy


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