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Detailed characterisation of focused ion beam induced lateral damage on silicon carbide samples by electrical scanning probe microscopy and transmission electron microscopy

: Stumpf, Florian; Abu Quba, A.A.; Singer, Philip; Rumler, Maximilian; Cherkashin, Nikolay; Schamm-Chardon, Sylvie; Cours, Robin; Rommel, Mathias


Journal of applied physics 123 (2018), Art. 125104, 11 S.
ISSN: 0021-8979
ISSN: 1089-7550
European Commission EC
Enabling Science and Technology through European Electron Microscopy
Fraunhofer IISB ()
SPM; scanning probe microscopy; cAFM; conductive AFM; SSRM; scanning spreading resistance microscopy; TEM; FIB; focused ion beam; damage

The lateral damage induced by focused ion beam on silicon carbide was characterized using electrical scanning probe microscopy (SPM), namely, scanning spreading resistance microscopy and conductive atomic force microscopy (c-AFM). It is shown that the damage exceeds the purposely irradiated circles with a radius of 0.5 μm by several micrometres, up to 8 μm for the maximum applied ion dose of 1E18 1/cm². Obtained SPM results are critically compared with earlier findings on silicon. For doses above the amorphization threshold, in both cases, three different areas can be distinguished. The purposely irradiated area exhibits resistances smaller than the non-affected substrate. A second region with strongly increasing resistance and a maximum saturation value surrounds it. The third region shows the transition from maximum resistance to the base resistance of the unaffected substrate. It correlates to the transition from amorphized to defect-rich to pristine crystalline substrate. Additionally, conventional transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and annular dark-field STEM were used to complement and explain the SPM results and get a further understanding of the defect spreading underneath the surface. Those measurements also show three different regions that correlate well with the regions observed from electrical SPM. TEM results further allow to explain observed differences in the electrical results for silicon and silicon carbide which are most prominent for ion doses above 3E16 1/cm². Furthermore, the conventional approach to perform current-voltage measurements b y c-AFM was critically reviewed and several improvements for measurement and analysis process were suggested that result in more reliable and impactful c-AFM data.