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Comparative study between conventional macroscopic IV techniques and advanced AFM based methods for electrical characterization of dielectrics at the nanoscale

: Yanev, V.; Erlbacher, T.; Rommel, M.; Bauer, A.J.; Frey, L.


Microelectronic engineering 86 (2009), Nr.7-9, S.1911-1914
ISSN: 0167-9317
Fraunhofer IISB ()
tunneling atomic force microscopy (TUNA); conductive atomic force microscopy (c-AFM); high-k dielectric

High-k dielectrics exhibit strong variations in their electrical characteristics on the nanometer scale due to morphology alteration. Therefore, electrical measurement techniques with nanometer resolution based on atomic force microscopy (AFM) like conductive AFM (cAFM) and tunneling AFM (TUNA) are essentially very well applicable to complement conventional macroscopic currentvoltage (IV) techniques. Comparative experiments between conventional IV, cAFM and TUNA measurements on SiO2 films and on high-k/SiO2 stacks prove the capability and the accuracy of cAFM/TUNA as advanced methods for electrical characterization of thin dielectric films. Especially TUNA provides the spatial resolution and the current sensitivity required for the characterization of local electrical properties at the nanoscale allowing for the characterization of dielectric layers at high current densities.