A contact electrical probing technique based on atomic force microscopy is described which has the capabilities for imaging and real-time electrical signal measurement of multiple close proximity circuit nodes in deep sub-micron integrated circuits. Similar to traditional wire probers, the probing technique described operates on a standard probe-station and is outfitted with a conductive atomic force microscope micro-machined tip for measuring surface topography. The probe scanning system is capable of imaging and probing features smaller than 0.18 micron and is able to control and maintain the contact force to less than one micronewton, minimizing circuit damage. The probe system we describe can support multiple probes that can be simultaneously configured on the same probe station, enabling four-point parameter measurements of devices in a 2 micron square area.

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