Scanning probe microscopy for advanced nanoelectronics

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As the size of electronic devices continues to shrink, characterization methods capable of precisely probing localized properties become increasingly important. Scanning probe microscopy techniques can examine local phenomena, and conductive atomic force microscopy can, in particular, study local electromechanical properties. Such techniques have already played a valuable role in the development of nanoelectronics, but their capabilities remain relatively limited compared with the probe stations typically used to examine electronic devices. Here, we discuss the potential of conductive atomic force microscopy in nanoelectronics. We explore possible characterization strategies, enhanced electronics for the technique and improved multiprobe approaches. We also propose a multiprobe scanning probe microscopy system that combines different types of probes and could allow multiple nanofabrication and characterization experiments to be carried out simultaneously and under vacuum conditions.

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Fig. 1: History of the CAFM.
Fig. 2: Four-dimensional electrical characterization with CAFM.
Fig. 3: Multiprobe scanning probe microscopy.
Fig. 4: MPC-SPM.


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This work has been supported by the Young 1000 Global Talent Recruitment Program of the Ministry of Education of China, the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (grant no. BRICS2018-211-2DNEURO), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grants no. 61502326, 41550110223, 11661131002, 61874075), the Jiangsu Government (grant no. BK20150343), the Ministry of Finance of China (grant no. SX21400213) and the Young 973 National Program of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (grant no. 2015CB932700). The Collaborative Innovation Center of Suzhou Nano Science and Technology, the Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Carbon-Based Functional Materials and Devices, the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions, and the 111 Project from the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs are also acknowledged. F.H. acknowledges support from the Technion-Guangdong Fellowship. D. Lewis and R. Dechter from Nanonics, T. Yang from Park Systems, L. Pacheco from Concept Scientific Instruments, O. Krause from Nano World and W. Frammelsberger from Deggendorf Institute of Technology are acknowledged for helpful discussions. X. Jing (Soochow University) and E. Sahagún (Scixel) are acknowledged for support with figure preparation.

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F.H. and M.L discussed the project, carried out the literature research, wrote the manuscript and prepared the figures.

Correspondence to Mario Lanza.

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Supplementary Table 1

Ideal features of a single-tip CAFM for characterization of nanoelectronics.

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Hui, F., Lanza, M. Scanning probe microscopy for advanced nanoelectronics. Nat Electron 2, 221–229 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41928-019-0264-8

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