Conductive-AFM topography and current maps simulator for the study of polycrystalline high-k dielectrics

Carlos Couso, Marc Porti, Javier Martin-Martinez, Vanessa Iglesias, Montserrat Nafria, Xavier Aymerich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 American Vacuum Society. In this work, a simulator of conductive atomic force microscopy (C-AFM) was developed to reproduce topography and current maps. In order to test the results, the authors used the simulator to investigate the influence of the C-AFM tip on topography measurements of polycrystalline high-k dielectrics, and compared the results with experimental data. The results show that this tool can produce topography images with the same morphological characteristics as the experimental samples under study. Additionally, the current at each location of the dielectric stack was calculated. The quantum mechanical transmission coefficient and tunneling current were obtained from the band diagram by applying the Airy wavefunction approach. Good agreement between experimental and simulation results indicates that the tool can be very useful for evaluating how the experimental parameters influence C-AFM measurements.
Original languageEnglish
Article number031801
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology B:Nanotechnology and Microelectronics
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015


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