Abstract

The use of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) electrical measurement modes is a critical tool for the study of semiconductor devices and process development. A relatively new electrical mode, scanning microwave impedance microscopy (sMIM), measures a material’s change in permittivity and conductivity at the scale of an AFM probe tip [1]. sMIM provides the real and imaginary impedance (Re(Z) and Im(Z)) of the probe-sample interface. By measuring the reflected microwave signal as a sample of interest is imaged with an AFM, we can in parallel capture the variations in permittivity and conductivity and, for doped semiconductors, variations in the depletion-layer geometry. An existing technique for characterizing doped semiconductors, scanning capacitance microscopy, modulates the tip-sample bias and detects the tip-sample capacitance with a lock-in amplifier. A previous study compares sMIM to SCM and highlights the additional capabilities of sMIM [2], including examples of nano-scale capacitance-voltage curves. In this paper we focus on the detailed mechanisms and capabilities of the nano-scale C-V curves and the ability to extract semiconductor properties from them. This study includes analytical and finite element modeling of tip bias dependent depletion-layer geometry and impedance. These are compared to experimental results on reference samples for both doped Si and GaN doped staircases to validate the systematic response of the sMIM-C (capacitive) channel to the doping concentration.

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