Scanning Microwave Microscopy (SMM)

This application note explores Scanning Microwave Microscopy (SMM), a technique crucial for nano-electrical characterization in the semiconductor and microelectronics industries. SMM is particularly adept at revealing buried structures in multilayered integrated circuits (ICs). It measures the interactions of microwaves between a sharp tip and the sample, using the microwave reflection coefficient (S11 parameter) to infer the tip-sample microwave impedance. This impedance provides information about local capacitance, dielectric constant, and dopant density.



Key learnings:

  1. Understanding SMM's Role in Nano-Electrical Characterization: Learn how SMM is used to measure local electronic material properties like conductance, dielectric constant, and dopant density, essential for semiconductor research and development.

  2. SMM Technique and Measurement: Gain insights into how SMM operates, including the use of the S11 parameter for measuring microwave impedance and its application in determining local capacitance and dopant density.

  3. Advantages of SMM Over SCM: Understand how SMM offers calibrated and absolute measurements across a range of materials, including dielectrics and metals, and operates at higher frequencies for better sensitivity.

  4. SMM Setup and Calibration: Explore the typical setup for SMM, involving a radio frequency wave source and receiver, and learn about the calibration procedures necessary for quantitative analysis.

  5. Applications of SMM: Discover how SMM is applied in measuring dopant densities, failure analysis in semiconductor devices, and fault detection in the semiconductor industry.

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