Scanning Microwave Microscopy (SMM)

Over the last few decades, the drive to miniaturize electronics has increased the demand for nano-electrical characterization methods. Understanding the local electronic material properties, such as conductance, dielectric constant, local capacitance and dopant density is critical for research and development of the semiconductor and microelectronics industries.

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has been a key technology used to correlate topographical structures with local electronic properties at the nanoscale. Techniques such as conductive atomic force microscopy (C-AFM) and Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM) allow for the measurements of local currents and electric surface potentials while scanning capacitance microscopy (SCM) maps the capacitance or local carrier density. Scanning microwave microscopy (SMM) is unique in revealing buried structures that are prevalent in multilayered modern integrated circuits (ICs). These measurements are essential for applications in failure analysis, simulation of device performance, and optimization of semiconductor manufacturing processes.

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