The 100th anniversary of the four-point probe technique: the role of probe geometries in isotropic and anisotropic systems

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Miccoli, Ilio; Edler, Frederik; Pfnuer, Herbert; Tegenkamp, Christoph: The 100th anniversary of the four-point probe technique: the role of probe geometries in isotropic and anisotropic systems. In: Journal of Physics - Condensed Matter 27 (2015), Nr. 22, 223201. DOI:

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Sum total of downloads: 258

The electrical conductivity of solid-state matter is a fundamental physical property and can be precisely derived from the resistance measured via the four-point probe technique excluding contributions from parasitic contact resistances. Over time, this method has become an interdisciplinary characterization tool in materials science, semiconductor industries, geology, physics, etc, and is employed for both fundamental and application-driven research. However, the correct derivation of the conductivity is a demanding task which faces several difficulties, e.g. the homogeneity of the sample or the isotropy of the phases. In addition, these sample-specific characteristics are intimately related to technical constraints such as the probe geometry and size of the sample. In particular, the latter is of importance for nanostructures which can now be probed technically on very small length scales. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the four-point probe technique, introduced by Frank Wenner, in this review we revisit and discuss various correction factors which are mandatory for an accurate derivation of the resistivity from the measured resistance. Among others, sample thickness, dimensionality, anisotropy, and the relative size and geometry of the sample with respect to the contact assembly are considered. We are also able to derive the correction factors for 2D anisotropic systems on circular finite areas with variable probe spacings. All these aspects are illustrated by state-of-the-art experiments carried out using a four-tip STM/SEM system. We are aware that this review article can only cover some of the most important topics. Regarding further aspects, e.g. technical realizations, the influence of inhomogeneities or different transport regimes, etc, we refer to other review articles in this field.
License of this version: CC BY 3.0 Unported
Document Type: article
Publishing status: publishedVersion
Issue Date: 2015-06-10
Appears in Collections:Fakultät für Mathematik und Physik

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pos. country downloads
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1 image of flag of Germany Germany 175 67.83%
2 image of flag of China China 30 11.63%
3 image of flag of United States United States 15 5.81%
4 image of flag of France France 10 3.88%
5 image of flag of Korea, Republic of Korea, Republic of 4 1.55%
6 image of flag of India India 4 1.55%
7 image of flag of Russian Federation Russian Federation 2 0.78%
8 image of flag of Indonesia Indonesia 2 0.78%
9 image of flag of Hungary Hungary 1 0.39%
10 image of flag of United Kingdom United Kingdom 1 0.39%
    other countries 14 5.43%

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