FOUR POINT PROBE SYSTEMS
Four-terminal sensing (4T sensing), 4-wire sensing, or 4-point probes method is an electrical impedance measuring technique that uses separate pairs of current-carrying and voltage-sensing electrodes to make more accurate measurements than the simpler and more usual two-terminal (2T) sensing. Four-terminal sensing is used in some ohmmeters and impedance analyzers, and in wiring for strain gauges and resistance thermometers.
The widely used four point probe, which is based on four-terminal sensing principle, is an apparatus for measuring the resistivity of semiconductor samples. By passing a current through two outer probes and measuring the voltage through the inner probes allows to measure sheet resistance of thin films.
Sheet resistance measurements are very common to characterize the uniformity of conductive or semiconductive coatings and materials, e.g. for quality assurance. Typical applications include the inline process control of metal, TCO, conductive nanomaterials or other coatings on architectural glass, wafers, flat panel displays, polymer foils, OLED, ceramics, etc. The contacting four-point probe is often applied for single-point measurements of hard or coarse materials. Non-contact eddy current systems are applied for sensitive or encapsulated coatings, for inline measurements and for high-resolution mapping.