Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 9

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON MICROWAVE THEORY AND TECHNIQUES, VOL. 52, NO. 3, MARCH 2004

971

Design and Fabrication of Scanning Near-Field Microwave Probes Compatible With Atomic Force Microscopy to Image Embedded Nanostructures

Massood Tabib-Azar and Yaqiang Wang, Member, IEEE

Abstract—Design, fabrication, and characterization of near-field microwave scanning probes compatible with an atomic force microscope (AFM) for imaging of embedded nanostructures are discussed. The microwave probe discussed here bridges the frequency gap between the existing local probe microscopy systems, and enables localized microwave spectroscopy and imaging of molecules and nanostructures. The probe consists of a coaxially shielded heavily doped silicon tip, and an aluminum (Al) coplanar waveguide. The coaxial tip structure was formed by a thick photoresist and plasma etching process, enabling the silicon apex to protrude through a well-defined aperture in the Al layer. Using this technique, probes with 10- m-high coaxial tips of 5-nm apex radius and 500-nm aperture radius were realized. The aperture confines the electromagnetic fields in the exposed tip region, allowing microwave measurements with high spatial resolution. The mechanical and electrical characterizations of the microwave probes were performed to ensure their compliance with the requirement of an AFM, as well as that of the microwave mea- surements. Finally, simultaneous AFM and microwave imaging of standard AFM samples with grid structures was performed for the first time. The lateral spatial resolution of the microwave scans was approximately 50 nm at 2.8 GHz, compared to 100 nm for the AFM scans. The ability of the microwave signal to penetrate inside the sample opens new possibilities in hyperspectral and multimodal imaging of nanostructures. Correlations between AFM images and the microwave images enable proper registration and referencing of the microwave properties to landmarks in the topographic AFM images.

Index Terms—Atomic force microscope (AFM), cantilever beams, coaxial probes, scanning local probe microscopy (SLPM), scanning near-field microwave microscope (SNMM), silicon-on- insulator (SOI).

microwave microscope (SNMM), silicon-on- insulator (SOI). I. I NTRODUCTION E MERGING nanotechnologies and

I. INTRODUCTION

E MERGING nanotechnologies and biotechnologies are in dire need of metrology tools with better than 10-nm spatial

resolution that are capable of imaging subsurface and nanoem- bedded structures. Scanning local probe microscopy (SLPM) techniques have advanced our knowledge of surfaces and mate- rials at atomic scales. These tools include the scanning tunneling

Manuscript received July 2, 2003; revised September 25, 2003. M. Tabib-Azar is with the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106 USA (e-mail: tabib-azar@po.cwru.edu). Y. Wang was with the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106 USA. He is now with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, WI 53706 USA. Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TMTT.2004.823596

USA. Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TMTT.2004.823596 Fig. techniques. 1. Frequency spectrum for different

Fig.

techniques.

1.

Frequency

spectrum

for

different

scanning

probe

microscopy

microscope (STM) [1]–[5], atomic force microscope (AFM) [6]–[10], scanning capacitance microscope (SCM) [10]–[15], magnetic force microscope (MFM) [16]–[20], scanning thermal microscope (SThM) [21]–[25], and near-field scanning optical microscope (NSOM) [26]–[30]. Probes such as the STM, SCM, MFM, and SThM operate with sensing signals far below 1 GHz. Other probes, such as the NSOM, operate with sensing signals in the optical regime (300–750 THz: 400–800 nm). However, be- tween NSOM and AFM/STM techniques, there is a very large frequency gap (Fig. 1) [31]. Scanning near-field microwave mi- croscope (SNMM) with possible sensing signals from 0.1 to 140 GHz bridges the frequency gap between the existing local probe microscopy systems. An SNMM can be very valuable in performing surface and subsurface imaging of embedded nanostructures, leading to an in-depth understanding of interactions between mesoscopic objects and their environment. Moreover, an SNMM has the unique ability to provide direct images of subsurface structures with nearly atomic resolutions, owing to the penetration and possible resonant absorption of its electromagnetic signal inside materials. An SNMM provides many unique measurement and imaging capabilities that are not afforded with other existing SLPMs. For example, an SNMM can be used to map variations in the resistivity and permittivity or permeability of materials simul- taneously over a wide range of frequencies. In bio-materials and cells, the resistivity is directly determined by the water and ionic content, while permittivity increases with density. In cases where resonant absorption of a molecule falls in the operational frequency range of an SNMM, information regarding bonding and other local characteristic can also be imaged. Many research groups are developing SNMMs or have contributed to their development in the past. In some cases [32]–[35], standalone SNMM systems are considered and, in others [36], [37], the SNMM retrofitted to an AFM is developed. The added benefit of the SNMM/AFM is that one can obtain simultaneous AFM and SNMM images, and take

0018-9480/04$20.00 © 2004 IEEE

972

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON MICROWAVE THEORY AND TECHNIQUES, VOL. 52, NO. 3, MARCH 2004

MICROWAVE THEORY AND TECHNIQUES, VOL. 52, NO. 3, MARCH 2004 Fig. 2. Schematic of the near-field

Fig. 2. Schematic of the near-field microwave measurement retrofitted to

a commercial AFM. The AFMs operation is based upon using an optical

detection method to track vertical ( ) motion of the cantilever beam tip that

is scanned over a sample. The AFM probe follows the samples topography

and an image is constructed by monitoring tip displacement across the sample.

Many different AFM imaging modes are developed, including noncontact, contact, tapping, and shear-force imaging. The addition of a microwave signal to the probe tip enables simultaneous AFM and microwave imaging of the sample. The microwave signal can be viewed as an illumination of the samples interior, enabling imaging embedded structures and nonuniformity in the microwave property of the sample.

advantage of the familiar AFM and its knowledge base to validate and reference microwave images. This aspect is very beneficial since the AFM community finds the imaging results quite convenient to interpret, while the SNMM images provide additional insight due to the unique capabilities of the SNMM. The AFM operation, described in many textbooks, can be explained simply by referring to Fig. 2. A cantilever beam with a pointed tip is scanned over the sample. An optical detection method is used to detect deflections of the cantilever beam caused by tipsample interactions. The sensitivity of the optical detection method is typically in the 0.1-Å range in the -direction (beam-bending direction). An AFM can also be operated in a noncontact mode, where the cantilever is vibrated over the sample and interaction with the sample shifts the resonant frequency of the beam. There are other modes of operation such as shear-mode scans and tapping-mode scans, which are developed for imaging various surface properties. Simultaneous microwave and AFM scans can be performed in the contact mode, as well as in noncontact and other scan- ning modes. Since the microwave scans can be performed at many different frequencies, and both the magnitude and phase of the signal can be used to construct images, multifrequency and multimodal images can be constructed to obtain additional information regarding the embedded structures, material prop- erties, and nonuniformity. The cell images shown in Fig. 3 were simultaneously obtained with an SNMM/AFM system in our group. The AFM image shows the cell topography with pronounced structures near the cell center, indicating the presence of cell nuclei. The electromagnetic signal (1.8 GHz) of the SNMM illuminates the interior of the cell enabling direct imaging of these nuclei. Moreover, the two SNMM images obtained by detecting the magnitude and phase of the reflected microwave signals enable imaging of different aspects of the cell. In this case, the phase SNMM image is emphasizing the cell membrane and boundary, while the amplitude SNMM is contrasting the nuclei. Fig. 3 was obtained using a commercially available all-metallic, conducting AFM tip. The metallic tips are not suitable for SNMM imaging above 2 GHz due to their large parasitic coupling capacitance with the sample, as schemati-

parasitic coupling capacitance with the sample, as schemati- cally shown in Fig. 4. To address this

cally shown in Fig. 4. To address this shortcoming, we set out to design and fabricate coaxial tips that can be readily used with commercial AFM systems. This study describes the design and microfabrication of these coaxial tips.

II. COAXIAL TIP DESIGN

The proposed SNMM probes have dimensions compatible with commercial AFM probes. The mechanical design of the probes has two parts, i.e., the probe geometry and he tip struc- ture. V-shaped cantilever beam geometry was chosen because of its transverse stiffness. The tip geometry is a conical structure with the tip apex surrounded by a dielectric layer and a coaxial shield structure. The opening near the tip apex is of utmost im- portance; it should be wide enough to enable the apex to interact with the sample, but narrow enough to confine the fields near the tip region to improve the probes spatial resolution. In accor- dance with our modeling results, the aperture was designed to have a 50500-nm opening with a 10nm tip curvature. As ex- plained later, these criteria were achieved using plasma etching and oxidation sharpening [38], [39]. Each probe chip size was around 3.6-mm long and 1.6-mm wide, easily exchangeable with commercial AFM probes for both topology measurements and microwave measurements. The spring constant for the V-shaped cantilever beam is [40]

The spring constant for the V-shaped cantilever beam is [40] (1) where is the Young ’
The spring constant for the V-shaped cantilever beam is [40] (1) where is the Young ’

(1)

spring constant for the V-shaped cantilever beam is [40] (1) where is the Young ’ s
spring constant for the V-shaped cantilever beam is [40] (1) where is the Young ’ s

where is the Youngs modulus of the beam structure, is the beamwidth, is its length, and is its thickness. Since it is a composite beam structure composed of silicon, low-tem- perature oxide (LTO), and aluminum (Al) film, the equivalent Youngs modulus is the weighted volumetric average of the dif- ferent layers

is the weighted volumetric average of the dif- ferent layers (2) (3) are the Young ’
is the weighted volumetric average of the dif- ferent layers (2) (3) are the Young ’

(2)

(3)

are the Youngs modulus of silicon (130 GPa),

LTO (39 GPa), and Al (69 GPa), respectively. , , and are the thicknesses of silicon (35 m), LTO (0.3 m), and Al (0.5 m), respectively.

, ,
, ,
(3 – 5 m), LTO (0.3 m), and Al (0.5 m), respectively. , , The mechanical
(3 – 5 m), LTO (0.3 m), and Al (0.5 m), respectively. , , The mechanical
(3 – 5 m), LTO (0.3 m), and Al (0.5 m), respectively. , , The mechanical
(3 – 5 m), LTO (0.3 m), and Al (0.5 m), respectively. , , The mechanical

The mechanical resonant frequency

is expressed by(0.5 m), respectively. , , The mechanical resonant frequency (4) (5) where the equivalent mass density

, , The mechanical resonant frequency is expressed by (4) (5) where the equivalent mass density

(4)

(5)

where the equivalent mass density is the weighted volumetric average of the different layers. , , and are the mass densities of silicon (2330 kg m ), LTO (2300 kg m ), and Al (2700 kg m ), respectively. The beamwidth was designed to be

(2700 kg m ), respectively. The beamwidth was designed to be m, and the beam length
(2700 kg m ), respectively. The beamwidth was designed to be m, and the beam length
(2700 kg m ), respectively. The beamwidth was designed to be m, and the beam length

m, and the beam length to be 300-1000 m. The spring

50

constant and resonant frequency calculation results are listed in Table I. The SNMM probes have resonant frequencies of 10200 kHz and spring constants of 0.120 N/m, comparable to those of commercial AFM probes.

frequencies of 10 – 200 kHz and spring constants of 0.1 – 20 N/m, comparable to
frequencies of 10 – 200 kHz and spring constants of 0.1 – 20 N/m, comparable to

TABIB-AZAR AND WANG: DESIGN AND FABRICATION OF SCANNING NEAR-FIELD MICROWAVE PROBES COMPATIBLE WITH AFM

973

SCANNING NEAR-FIELD MICROWAVE PROBES COMPATIBLE WITH AFM 973 Fig. 3. (a) Simultaneous AFM, (b) SNMM amplitude,

Fig. 3. (a) Simultaneous AFM, (b) SNMM amplitude, and (c) phase images of cancerous breast cells grown on a glass substrate. The amplitude image tends to emphasize embedded objects that absorb microwave energy and the phase image tends to emphasize or contrast objects that affect the signals phase. The scan was performed at 1.8 GHz through a thin layer of liquid that surrounded the cultured cells in vivo.

of liquid that surrounded the cultured cells in vivo . Fig. 4. Probe – sample parasitic

Fig. 4. Probesample parasitic coupling capacitors when the probe is not shielded. The nearly parallel-plate structure formed between the cantilever beam body and sample is the main contributor to this capacitance. Owing to its very large area compared to the tipsample interaction area, the parasitic capacitance dominates the probesample interaction.

TABLE

I

SPRING CONSTANT AND FUNDAMENTAL RESONANT FREQUENCY CALCULATIONS FOR DIFFERENT BEAM DIMENSIONS

REQUENCY C ALCULATIONS FOR D IFFERENT B EAM D IMENSIONS From the microwave point-of-view, the probe

From the microwave point-of-view, the probe has three main sections (Fig. 5) [41]. The first section is the waveguide that guides the microwave signal from the generator to the probe tip. The second section is the tip region that confines the fields by

its conical shape and the coaxial geometry. The third section is

the tipsample interaction section. Fig. 5(b) shows the schematic cross view of the SNMM probe. It consists of a silicon V-shaped cantilever beam with a

coaxially shielded tip on the free end of the cantilever beam.

A metal waveguide is defined on the beam, forming an ohmic

contact with the highly doped coaxially shielded tip region, where a sharp silicon tip protrudes through an aperture in the shielding metal layer and the isolation layer. The waveguide section is modeled by the well-known lumped inductor and capacitor (LC) circuit and its resulting character- istic impedance [42], as schematically shown in Fig. 6. The

istic impedance [42], as schematically shown in Fig. 6. The Fig. 5. Coaxial probe has two

Fig. 5. Coaxial probe has two main sections, as shown in (a), consisting of a waveguide section over the handleand a cantilever beam followed by the tip section. The tip section consists of a protruding tip apex surrounded by a dielectric layer and a metallic shield layer. The cross section of the probe is shown in (b).

characteristic impedance may be complex when leakage and dissipation, represented by resistors, are added to the LC cir- cuit. The tip section can also be modeled by a lumped LC cir- cuit; however, since the tip section is much smaller than the smallest wavelength in our design range ( GHz with cm), we can simply model it by an additional capacitance ( ), as shown in Fig. 6. The tipsample interac- tion is modeled by the coupling capacitance in the noncon- tact mode, and by a resistor in the contact mode. For the microwave measurement to be sensitive, should be as large as possible. Semiconducting and insulating samples are mod- eled by a resistance ( ) and a capacitance ( ), as shown in Fig. 6(a) [33]. Metallic samples are modeled by a surface resis- tance ( ) and an inductance ( ), as shown in Fig. 6(b) [33]. The microwave simulation of the waveguide structure was performed using Sonnet. The waveguide was decomposed into two parts according to the dielectric layer configurations, and simulated by cascading these two sections. These simulations

parts according to the dielectric layer configurations, and simulated by cascading these two sections. These simulations
parts according to the dielectric layer configurations, and simulated by cascading these two sections. These simulations
parts according to the dielectric layer configurations, and simulated by cascading these two sections. These simulations
parts according to the dielectric layer configurations, and simulated by cascading these two sections. These simulations
parts according to the dielectric layer configurations, and simulated by cascading these two sections. These simulations
parts according to the dielectric layer configurations, and simulated by cascading these two sections. These simulations
parts according to the dielectric layer configurations, and simulated by cascading these two sections. These simulations
parts according to the dielectric layer configurations, and simulated by cascading these two sections. These simulations
parts according to the dielectric layer configurations, and simulated by cascading these two sections. These simulations

974

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON MICROWAVE THEORY AND TECHNIQUES, VOL. 52, NO. 3, MARCH 2004

MICROWAVE THEORY AND TECHNIQUES, VOL. 52, NO. 3, MARCH 2004 Fig. 6. sample is modeled in

Fig. 6.

sample is modeled in (a) and a metallic sample is modeled in (b).

Lumped-circuit model of the waveguide, tip, and sample. A dielectric

were used to find appropriate waveguide dimensions necessary for microwave propagation to the probe tip, given a particular cantilever beam geometry. Metallic waveguides 2060- ms wide on 12- m silicondioxide insulating layers were typi- cally used over the silicon cantilever regions. These waveguides were connected to much wider waveguides in the handling section of the probe through properly designed transition regions. The contact pads were 150250- m squares that were connected through these transition regions to the waveguides situated over the cantilever beams.

to the waveguides situated over the cantilever beams. I I I . C O A X
to the waveguides situated over the cantilever beams. I I I . C O A X
to the waveguides situated over the cantilever beams. I I I . C O A X

III. COAXIAL PROBE FABRICATION

The starting substrate was a 4-in double-side-polished sil- icon-on-insulator (SOI) wafer with a 15- m device layer, 1- m buried oxide layer, and 400- m handle layer. Both the Si de- vice layer and handle layer were p-type with (100) orientations. Over 300 probe chips were batch fabricated per wafer. The main steps are illustrated in Fig. 7. The cross-sectional view is along the direction. After a prefurnace clean, the SOI wafer was thermally oxidized in the furnace at a temperature of 1200 C to grow

m SiO . Photolithography step #1 defined circular patterns

1-

for silicon tip etching. The exposed thermal oxide was then etched away by buffered HF (BHF). After that, plasma etching was performed to form conical silicon tips. Sharp silicon tips were achieved with a low-temperature thermal oxidation sharpening at 950 C [see Fig. 7(a)]. Next, pho- tolithography step #2 exposed the tip region that was made conductive by a boronion implantation. The ion implantation was performed with a dose of 5 10 ions cm at 60 KeV [see Fig. 7(b)].

A 5000-Å Al layer was sputtered at a pressure of

7(b)]. A 5000- Å Al layer was sputtered at a pressure of 1 0 torr. The
7(b)]. A 5000- Å Al layer was sputtered at a pressure of 1 0 torr. The
7(b)]. A 5000- Å Al layer was sputtered at a pressure of 1 0 torr. The
7(b)]. A 5000- Å Al layer was sputtered at a pressure of 1 0 torr. The
7(b)]. A 5000- Å Al layer was sputtered at a pressure of 1 0 torr. The
7(b)]. A 5000- Å Al layer was sputtered at a pressure of 1 0 torr. The
7(b)]. A 5000- Å Al layer was sputtered at a pressure of 1 0 torr. The
7(b)]. A 5000- Å Al layer was sputtered at a pressure of 1 0 torr. The
7(b)]. A 5000- Å Al layer was sputtered at a pressure of 1 0 torr. The
7(b)]. A 5000- Å Al layer was sputtered at a pressure of 1 0 torr. The
7(b)]. A 5000- Å Al layer was sputtered at a pressure of 1 0 torr. The
7(b)]. A 5000- Å Al layer was sputtered at a pressure of 1 0 torr. The

1

0 torr. The Al waveguide was defined by pho- tolithography step #3, and patterned by wet etching [see Fig. 7(c)]. LPCVD was used to deposit a 3000-Å LTO at 450 C and a pressure of 350 mtorr [see Fig. 7(d)]. Another layer of

1-

m Al was sputtered and patterned by photolithography stepa pressure of 350 mtorr [see Fig. 7(d)]. Another layer of 1- #4 to form a

#4 to form a metal shield layer. The 3000-Å LTO layer acted as an isolation layer between the waveguide and the shield layer at

layer between the waveguide and the shield layer at Fig. 7. Fabrication process flow of the
layer between the waveguide and the shield layer at Fig. 7. Fabrication process flow of the
layer between the waveguide and the shield layer at Fig. 7. Fabrication process flow of the

Fig. 7. Fabrication process flow of the SNMM probes. Refer to the text for the explanation of the fabrication steps.

the tip region. Photolithography step #5 was used to pattern the LTO layer to expose the Al waveguide [see Fig. 7(e) and (f)]. A special processing technique called tip exposurewas im- plemented to realize the coaxially shielded tip structure that con- fines the electromagnetic field in the exposed tip region during

microwave measurements. The tip-exposure process consisted of a thick photoresist AZ 9260 step that was spun to achieve uniform coating on the wafer. A plasma system (M4L) was then utilized to etch photoresist to barely expose the Al-coated tip. The exposure extent was controlled by tuning the parameters of the plasma system. The aperture in the shield layer was formed by Al wet etch. Finally, the conductive silicon tip was exposed by the following LTO etch to achieve the coaxial structure [see Fig. 7(g)]. Si anisotropic plasma etching was done after photolithog- raphy step #6 to define a V-shaped cantilever beam with a thickness of 2-5 m [see Fig. 7(h)]. AZ 9260 was spun again to protect the device layer before the backside of the handle layer underwent the last photolithography step. Double-sided alignment was used to define the backside deep reactive ion etching (DRIE) region to form the V-shaped cantilever beam. After DRIE, the SNMM probes were released by oxide etching and a photoresist strip step [see Fig. 7(i)].

oxide etching and a photoresist strip step [see Fig. 7(i)]. IV. C HARACTERIZATION Fig. 8(a) shows

IV. CHARACTERIZATION

Fig. 8(a) shows a tip plasma etching scanning electron microscopy (SEM) photograph. The photoresist layer, thermal oxide mask layer, and blunt Si tip are clearly illustrated. Fig. 8(b) shows an SEM photograph of an Si tip after plasma etching and oxidation sharpening. The tip height was 10 m

Fig. 8(b) shows an SEM photograph of an Si tip after plasma etching and oxidation sharpening.

TABIB-AZAR AND WANG: DESIGN AND FABRICATION OF SCANNING NEAR-FIELD MICROWAVE PROBES COMPATIBLE WITH AFM

975

SCANNING NEAR-FIELD MICROWAVE PROBES COMPATIBLE WITH AFM 975 Fig. 8. SEMs of: (a) a tip after

Fig. 8. SEMs of: (a) a tip after plasma etching, (b) after oxidation sharpening, and (c) the final coaxial tip.

after oxidation sharpening, and (c) the final coaxial tip. Fig. 9. SNMM probe. SEMs of: (a)

Fig. 9.

SNMM probe.

SEMs of: (a) a coaxial-tip with waveguide and (b) of a completed

with an apex 50-Å radius. Fig. 8(c) shows an SEM photograph of a coaxially shielded tip structure. The aperture radius in the shield metal layer is 500 nm. Fig. 9(a) shows a coaxially shielded tip together with a metal waveguide and metal shield layer after tip exposure.Fig. 9(b) shows an SEM photograph of a released SNMM probe with a V-shaped cantilever beam. A commercially available AFM platform, Explorer (Veeco Instruments, Santa Barbara, CA), was used for the measurement of dynamic properties of the microfabricated SNMM probes. The mechanical spectrum of a microwave probe in air is shown in Fig. 10(a), indicating a resonant frequency of 170.92 kHz and

a
a

-factor value of 317. This is close to the design value

kHz with

m,
m,
value of 317. This is close to the design value kHz with m, m, and m.

m, and m. The

resonant frequency discrepancy from the value of Table I can be accounted for by the process deviation of beam dimensions and

the approximation of the composite beam calculation.

and the approximation of the composite beam calculation. kHz. (b) Normalized resonance spectra of an SNMM

kHz.

(b) Normalized resonance spectra of an SNMM probe and a commercial AFM

probe.

Fig. 10.

(a) Oscillation spectrum of an SNMM probe with

Fig. 10. (a) Oscillation spectrum of an SNMM probe with Fig. 10(b) shows the normalized mechanical

Fig. 10(b) shows the normalized mechanical oscillation spec- trum of an SNMM probe in air with kHz and a -factor value of 259. For comparison, we have also included the oscillation spectrum of a commercially available noncontact metallic tip. The factor of our resonator is three times greater than the commercial tip. We measured the dc current versus voltage characteristics of the SNNM probes to check the leakage between the shielding electrode and tip. The Explorer scanner head and semiconductor parameter analyzer HP 4155B were used to perform this mea- surement. The interface between the measurement circuits and SNMM probe is shown in Fig. 11(a) and (b). The scanner head was processed to add an SMA connector as an interface for electrical and microwave measurements, and a 0.5-mm-diam- eter coaxial cable was used to realize the electrical connection from the SMA to the SNMM probe located on the half-moon washer. The results are shown in Fig. 12. The leakage between the tip and coaxial shield was around 0.6 A at 1 V, resulting in a resistive load of around 1.6 M that is quite acceptable. The ohmic contact resistance between the Al waveguide and highly doped tip was measured by an HP 4155B semiconductor parameter analyzer. Fig. 12(b) shows the contact resistance is

. Given the small contact area of the waveguide and the

37

ion-implanted tip, this value of resistance is quite good and it is lower than one may otherwise expect. The contact resis- tance between a tip and gold sample was measured using the AFM system and HP 4155B semiconductor parameter analyzer. Fig. 12(c) shows the resistance is 50 . This is impressive since

AFM system and HP 4155B semiconductor parameter analyzer. Fig. 12(c) shows the resistance is 50 .
AFM system and HP 4155B semiconductor parameter analyzer. Fig. 12(c) shows the resistance is 50 .
AFM system and HP 4155B semiconductor parameter analyzer. Fig. 12(c) shows the resistance is 50 .
AFM system and HP 4155B semiconductor parameter analyzer. Fig. 12(c) shows the resistance is 50 .
AFM system and HP 4155B semiconductor parameter analyzer. Fig. 12(c) shows the resistance is 50 .
AFM system and HP 4155B semiconductor parameter analyzer. Fig. 12(c) shows the resistance is 50 .
AFM system and HP 4155B semiconductor parameter analyzer. Fig. 12(c) shows the resistance is 50 .

976

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON MICROWAVE THEORY AND TECHNIQUES, VOL. 52, NO. 3, MARCH 2004

MICROWAVE THEORY AND TECHNIQUES, VOL. 52, NO. 3, MARCH 2004 Fig. 11. (a) Coaxial connection on

Fig. 11.

(a) Coaxial connection on the Explorer AFM head. (b) SNMM probe.

the tip is very sharp. These two measurements in Fig. 12(b) and (c) verified that the ion-implanted tip was highly conductive. The microwave characterization was performed by using an HP 8720C network analyzer to measure the input reflection coefficient magnitude with and without sample presence. Fig. 13 shows the spectra of an SNMM probe tip in air and over a metallic sample from 50 MHz to 20 GHz. The top curve in Fig. 13 shows dB in air. The middle curve is the ( dB) measured when the probe was near a metal sample. After subtracting the values in air from the values over the sample, the bottom curve of Fig. 13 was obtained. This curve shows sensitive frequencies for mi- crowave microscopy applications. The peaks around 1, 2.8, and 5 GHz indicate that microwave scans at these frequencies would yield large variations due to changes in the samples microwave properties.

due to changes in the sample ’ s microwave properties. V . I M P L
due to changes in the sample ’ s microwave properties. V . I M P L
due to changes in the sample ’ s microwave properties. V . I M P L
due to changes in the sample ’ s microwave properties. V . I M P L
due to changes in the sample ’ s microwave properties. V . I M P L
due to changes in the sample ’ s microwave properties. V . I M P L

V. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE COAXIAL PROBE

Fig. 14 shows the schematic of the setup used for scanning microwave microscopy. The RF source in this experiment was an HP 8341B synthesized sweeper with operation range of 10 MHz 20 GHz. The lock-in amplifier (LIA) is an EG&G model 5110; it provided the amplitude modulation signal to the RF source. We utilized the I/O signal-processing channels from the electronic control unit (ECU) of the Explorer system to input the microwave signal to generate microwave images. An SR560 low-noise preamplifier from Stanford Research Sys- tems, Sunnyvale, CA, performed both bandpass filtering (BPF) and pre-amplifier functions in the experiment. The crystal

and pre-amplifier functions in the experiment. The crystal Fig. 12. Current versus voltage ( – )

Fig. 12. Current versus voltage ( ) measurements between: (a) the tip and the metallic shield, (b) the metallic waveguide and the heavily doped silicon tip, and (c) the tip and a gold sample.

doped silicon tip, and (c) the tip and a gold sample. Fig. 13. Reflection ( )

Fig. 13. Reflection ( ) spectra of the SNMM probe in air and over a metallic sample. The difference spectrum indicates the frequency bands where the probe is most sensitive to the metallic sample. The difference spectrum was used to select imaging frequencies to ensure maximum sensitivity.

to the metallic sample. The difference spectrum was used to select imaging frequencies to ensure maximum

TABIB-AZAR AND WANG: DESIGN AND FABRICATION OF SCANNING NEAR-FIELD MICROWAVE PROBES COMPATIBLE WITH AFM

977

SCANNING NEAR-FIELD MICROWAVE PROBES COMPATIBLE WITH AFM 977 Fig. 14. Schematic of the setup for scanning

Fig. 14. Schematic of the setup for scanning microwave microscopy. In this setup, a crystal detector was used and only the reflected microwave amplitude was recorded for imaging. The bandpass filter bank (BFB) was an integral part of a programmable preamplifier used to condition and amplify the detector output.

detector model was an HP 8742B with a frequency range of 10 MHz18 GHz and sensitivity larger than 50 mV W. The RF source generated an amplitude modulated 10-dBm signal that was applied to the circulator. The transmitted RF signal was guided by the waveguide of the SNMM probe to the coaxial tip region where it interacted with the sample. The mi- crowave properties (conductivity, permittivity, or permeability) of the sample affected the amplitude and phase of the reflected RF signal. The crystal detector detected the reflected signal. The signal was then given to an amplifier and to the lock-in that was synchronized with the modulation signal. The output signal of LIA represented the microwave properties of the sample and it was connected to the ECU to generate the microwave image. The AFM system software was used to construct the microwave image simultaneously with the AFM image.

the microwave image simultaneously with the AFM image. VI. A PPLICATIONS Fig. 15(a) and (b) shows

VI. APPLICATIONS

Fig. 15(a) and (b) shows simultaneous contact mode topog- raphy and SNMM images of a siliconnitride grid sample at 1 GHz. The SNMM image shows subsurface features that are absent in the AFM image. This is the first reported simulta- neous AFM and SNMM imaging achieved by a microfabri- cated SNMM probe. The lateral resolution of the SNMM image was around 50 nm compared to the 100 nm achieved in the AFM image. The Si N grid has deep trenches and our SNMM probe because of its coaxial tip structure, exhibits an effective tip curvature much larger (100 nm) than its apex (10 nm). The tip aperture along with its apex determine the SNMMs lateral resolution. The ability to image cell organelles (Fig. 2) and Si N grid structures (Fig. 15) can be viewed as feasibility studies demon- strating the capability of microwave AFMs to image embedded structures in soft biological and dielectric/semiconductor ma- terials. Other applications of the simultaneous microwave and AFM imaging include mapping the field intensities and direc- tions in surface-wave modes in microwave waveguides, devices, and circuits, dielectrometry in high/low materials in integrated circuits, profiling doping concentration in semiconductors, and mapping polymer nonuniformity in phase segregated materials.

mapping polymer nonuniformity in phase segregated materials. Fig. 15. Simultaneous: (a) contact AFM and (b) SNMM
mapping polymer nonuniformity in phase segregated materials. Fig. 15. Simultaneous: (a) contact AFM and (b) SNMM
mapping polymer nonuniformity in phase segregated materials. Fig. 15. Simultaneous: (a) contact AFM and (b) SNMM
mapping polymer nonuniformity in phase segregated materials. Fig. 15. Simultaneous: (a) contact AFM and (b) SNMM
mapping polymer nonuniformity in phase segregated materials. Fig. 15. Simultaneous: (a) contact AFM and (b) SNMM
mapping polymer nonuniformity in phase segregated materials. Fig. 15. Simultaneous: (a) contact AFM and (b) SNMM

Fig. 15. Simultaneous: (a) contact AFM and (b) SNMM images of an Si N grid sample. The microwave image had better lateral spatial resolution ( 50 nm) than the AFM scans ( 100 nm). The Si N grid has deep trenches, and our SNMM probe, because of its coaxial tip structure, exhibits an effective tip curvature much larger (100 nm) than its tip apex (10 nm). The tip aperture along with its apex determine the SNMMs lateral resolution.

with its apex determine the SNMM ’ s lateral resolution. In applications where the microwave AFM
with its apex determine the SNMM ’ s lateral resolution. In applications where the microwave AFM
with its apex determine the SNMM ’ s lateral resolution. In applications where the microwave AFM
with its apex determine the SNMM ’ s lateral resolution. In applications where the microwave AFM

In applications where the microwave AFM tip is used to de- tect and image the electromagnetic-field profiles, one should be careful to take into account the modification of these fields due to the presence of the probe tip. The SNMM can be used to construct three-dimensional (3-D) images of objects using two different approaches. In the first ap- proach, multiple frequency scans are simultaneously performed. The resulting images show different depths of signal penetra- tion, owing to the difference in their microwave frequencies. These images are processed and stacked to produce 3-D images. Alternatively, one can perform noncontact SNMM imaging at different tipsample distances and construct 3-D images by in- fusing the multiple scans together. The first approach is fun- damentally better than the second approach since it performs simultaneous scans and does not rely on the reproducibility of multiple scans.

978

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON MICROWAVE THEORY AND TECHNIQUES, VOL. 52, NO. 3, MARCH 2004

VII. CONCLUSION

We reported for the first time simultaneous AFM and mi- crowave (both amplitude and phase) imaging of standard Si N grid structures using specially designed and fabricated AFM- compatible microwave probes with coaxial tip geometry. We discussed the design, fabrication, and characterization of these near-field probes. The fabrication process was designed to form patterns of a metal waveguide and metal shield layer on an Si V-shaped cantilever beam, resulting in a coaxially shielded tip on the free end of a cantilever beam compatible with standard AFM systems. The electromagnetic fields in our probes were confined near their exposed apex region, increasing the spatial resolution of microwave measurements. The microwave probes were mounted to a commercial AFM system for mechanical and electrical characterization. The lateral spatial resolution of the microwave scans were around 50 nm at 2.8 GHz, compared to 100 nm of the AFM scans. The ability of the microwave signal to penetrate inside the sample opens new possibilities in hy- perspectral and multimodal imaging of nanostructures. Corre- lations between AFM images and the microwave images enable proper registration and referencing of the microwave properties to landmarks in the topographic AFM images.

properties to landmarks in the topographic AFM images. R EFERENCES [1] G. Binnig, H. Rohrer, C.
properties to landmarks in the topographic AFM images. R EFERENCES [1] G. Binnig, H. Rohrer, C.

REFERENCES

[1]

G. Binnig, H. Rohrer, C. Gerber, and E. Weibel, 7 7 reconstruction on Si resolved in real space,Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 50, pp. 120123,

1983.

[2]

A. Kleiner and S. Eggert, Curvature, hybridization, and STM images of

[3]

carbon nanotubes,Phys. Rev. B, Condens. Matter, vol. 64, no. 113 402, pp. 14, 2001. N. Nilius, N. Ernst, and H.-J. Freund, Tip influence on plasmon excita-

tions in single gold particles in an STM,Phys. Rev. B, Condens. Matter, vol. 65, no. 115 421, pp. 18, 2001. [4] J. Nieminen, S. Lahti, S. Paavilainen, and K. Morgenstern, Contrast changes in STM images and relations between different tunneling models,Phys. Rev. B, Condens. Matter, vol. 66, no. 165 421, pp. 19,

2002.

[5] S. Urazhdin, S. H. Tessmer, and R. C. Ashoori, A simple low-dissi- pation amplifier for cryogenic STM,Rev. Sci. Instrum., vol. 73, pp. 310312, 2002.

G. Binnig, C. F. Quate, and C. Gerber, Atomic force microscope,Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 56, pp. 930933, 1986.

[7] T. R. Albrecht and C. F. Quate, Atomic resolution imaging of a nonconductor by atomic force microscopy,J. Appl. Phys., vol. 62, pp. 25992602, 1987.

[8] M. D. Kirk, T. R. Albrecht, and C. F. Quate, Low-temperature atomic force microscopy,Rev. Sci. Instrum., vol. 59, pp. 833835, 1988.

A. Vinckier, F. Hennau, K. Kjoller, and L. Hellemans, Low-cost modi-

fication of a contact atomic force microscope (AFM) into a sound-acti- vated tapping mode AFM for use in air and liquids,Rev. Sci. Instrum., vol. 67, pp. 387392, 1996. [10] T. Akiyama, S. Gautsch, N. F. de Rooij, U. Staufer, P. Niedermann, L.

Howald, D. Müller, A. Tonin, H.-R. Hidber, W. T. Pike, and M. H. Hecht,

Atomic force microscope for planetary applications,Sens. Actuators A, Phys., vol. 91, pp. 321325, 2001. [11] J. R. Matey and J. Blanc, Scanning capacitance microscopy,J. Appl. Phys., vol. 57, pp. 14371444, 1985.

[6]

[9]

[12]

C. C. Williams, W. P. Hough, and S. A. Rishton, Scanning capacitance

microscopy on a 25 nm scale,Appl. Phys. Lett., vol. 55, pp. 203205,

1989.

[13]

R. C. Barrett and C. F. Quate, Charge storage in a nitrideoxidesilicon medium by scanning capacitance microscopy,J. Appl. Phys., vol. 70, pp. 27252733, 1991.

[14] Y. Huang, C. C. Williams, and J. Slinkman, Quantitative two-dimen- sional dopant profile measurement and inverse modeling by scanning capacitance microscopy,Appl. Phys. Lett., vol. 66, pp. 344346, 1995.

[15]

T. Tran, D. R. Oliver, D. J. Thomson, and G. E. Bridges, ““Zeptofarad(10 F) resolution capacitance sensor for scanning capacitance mi- croscopy,Rev. Sci. Instrum., vol. 72, pp. 26182623, 2001.

[16]

U. Hartmann, Magnetic force microscopy: Some remarks from the mi-

[17]

cromagnetic point of view,J. Appl. Phys., vol. 64, pp. 15611564, 1988. P. Gr ü tter, D. Rugar, H. J. Mamin, G. Castillo, S. E. Lambert, C.-J. Lin, R. M. Valletta, O. Wolter, T. Bayer, and J. Greschner, Batch fabrication sensors for magnetic force microscopy,Appl. Phys. Lett., vol. 57, pp. 18201822, 1990.

[18] A. DiCarlo, M. R. Scheinfein, and R. V. Chamberlin, Magnetic force microscopy utilizing an ultrasensitive vertical cantilever geometry,Appl. Phys. Lett., vol. 61, pp. 21082110, 1992. [19] G. D. Skidmore and E. D. Dahlberg, Improved spatial resolution in magnetic force microscopy,Appl. Phys. Lett., vol. 71, pp. 32933295,

1997.

T. G. Sorop, C. Untiedt, F. Luis, M. Kröll, M. Ras¸ a, and L. J. de Jongh,

Magnetization reversal of ferromagnetic nanowires studied by mag- netic force microscopy,Phys. Rev. B, Condens. Matter, vol. 67, no. 014 402, pp. 18, 2003. [21] O. Nakabeppu, M. Chandrachood, Y. Wu, J. Lai, and A. Majumdar,

[20]

[22]

Scanning thermal imaging microscopy using composite cantilever probes,Appl. Phys. Lett., vol. 66, pp. 694696, 1995. E. Oesterschulze, M. Stopka, L. Ackermann, W. Scholz, and S. Werner, Thermal imaging of thin films by scanning thermal microscope,J. Vac.

Sci. Technol. B, Microelectron. Process. Phenom., vol. 14, pp. 832837,

1996.

[23]

K. Luo, R. W. Herrick, A. Majumdar, and P. Petroff, Scanning thermal microscopy of a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser,Appl. Phys. Lett.,

[24]

vol. 71, pp. 16041606, 1997. G. Mills, H. Zhou, A. Midha, L. Donaldson, and J. M. R. Weaver, Scan- ning thermal microscopy using batch fabricated thermocouple probes,Appl. Phys. Lett., vol. 72, p. 2900, 1998.

[25] L. Shi, S. Plyasunov, A. Bachtold, P. L. McEuen, and A. Majumdar,

Scanning thermal microscopy of carbon nanotubes using batch-fabri- cated probes,Appl. Phys. Lett., vol. 77, p. 4295, 2000. A. Harootunian, E. Betzig, M. Isaacson, and A. Lewis, Super-resolution

[26]

fluorescence near-field scanning optical microscopy,Appl. Phys. Lett., vol. 49, p. 674, 1986. [27] M. Isaacson, J. A. Cline, and H. Barshatzky, Near-field scanning op- tical microscopy II,J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B, Microelectron. Process. Phenom., vol. 9, p. 3103, 1991.

W. M. Duncan, Near-field scanning optical microscope for microelec-

tronic materials and devices,J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A, Vac. Surf. Films, vol. 14, pp. 19141918, 1996. [29] M. H. Gray and J. W. P. Hsu, A variable cryogenic temperature near-field scanning optical microscope,Rev. Sci. Instrum., vol. 70, pp. 33553361, 1999. [30] P. N. Minh, T. Ono, and M. Esashi, High throughput aperture

[28]

near-field scanning optical microscopy,Rev. Sci. Instrum., vol. 71, pp. 31113117, 2000. [31] Y. Wang and M. Tabib-Azar, Microfabricated near-field scanning mi- crowave probes,in Int. IEEE Electron Devices Meeting Dig., 2002, pp.

905910.

[32] M. Tabib-Azar, N. Shoemaker, and S. Harris, Non-destructive charac- terization of materials by evanescent microwaves,Meas. Sci. Technol., vol. 4, pp. 583590, 1993.

M. Tabib-Azar, D.-P. Su, A. Pohar, S. R. LeClair, and G. Ponchak, 0.4

m spatial resolution with 1 GHz ( cm) evanescent microwave probe,Rev. Sci. Instrum., vol. 70, pp. 17251729, 1999. [34] D. E. Steinhauer, C. P. Vlahacos, S. K. Dutta, F. C. Wellstood, and S.

M. Anlage, Surface resistance imaging with a scanning near-field mi-

crowave microscope,Appl. Phys. Lett., vol. 71, pp. 17361738, 1997. [35] C. Gao, T. Wei, F. Duewer, Y. Lu, and X.-D. Xiang, High spatial res- olution quantitative microwave impedance microscopy by a scanning

tip microwave near-field microscope,Appl. Phys. Lett., vol. 71, pp. 18721874, 1997. D. W. van der Weide, Localized picosecond resolution with a near-field

[36]

microwave/scanning-force microscope,Appl. Phys. Lett., vol. 70, pp. 677679, 1996. [37] B. T. Rosner and D. W. van der Weide, High-frequency near-field mi-

croscopy,Rev. Sci. Instrum., vol. 73, pp. 25052525, 2002. [38] T. S. Ravi, B. Marcus, and D. Liu, Oxidation sharpening of silicon tips,J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B, Microelectron. Process. Phenom., vol. 9,

[33]

pp. 27332737, 1991.

[39] N. E. McGruer, K. Warner, P. Singhal, J. J. Gu, and C. Chan, Oxida-

tion-sharpened gate field emitter array process,IEEE Trans. Electron Devices, vol. 38, pp. 23892391, Oct. 1991. [40] C. Liu and R. Gamble, Mass-producible monolithic silicon probes for scanning probe microscopes,Sens. Actuators A, Phys., vol. 71, pp. 233237, 1998.

TABIB-AZAR AND WANG: DESIGN AND FABRICATION OF SCANNING NEAR-FIELD MICROWAVE PROBES COMPATIBLE WITH AFM

979

[41] Y. Wang and M. Tabib-Azar, Fabrication and characterization of evanescent microwave probes compatible with atomic force microscope for scanning near-field microscopy,presented at the ASME Int. Mechanical Engineering Congr. and Expo., New Orleans, LA, Nov. 1722, 2002. [42] S. Ramo, J. R. Whinner, and T. Van Duzer, Fields and Waves in Com- munication Electronics. New York: Wiley, 1984.

in Com- munication Electronics . New York: Wiley, 1984. Massood Tabib-Azar received the M.S. and Ph.D.

Massood Tabib-Azar received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Troy, NY, in 1984 and 1986, respectively. During the 1986 to 1987 academic year, he was an Instructor with the Electrical and Computer Science Engineering (ECSE) Department, RPI. In 1987, he joined the faculty of the EEAP (currently the Elec- trical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) Department), Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) (currently Case University), Cleveland, OH. During the summers of 1991 and 1992, he was a Fellow with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). From 1993 to 1994, he was on sabbatical leave with Harvard University, and from 2000 to 2001, with Yale University. He is currently a Professor with EECS Department, CWRU, with joint appointments with the Macromolecular Engineering and Physics Departments. His current research interests include nanometrology tools (microwave-atomic force microscopy), molecular electronics, novel devices based on solid electrolytes, sensors and actuators, and quantum computing. His teaching interests include development of courses in the area of electronic device physics and electromagnetics with an emphasis on solving problems and the use of computer-aided instruction tools. He has authored three books, two book chapters, over 110 journal publications, and numerous conference proceeding papers. Dr. Tabib-Azar is a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, IEEE Electron Devices Society, the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society (IEEE AP-S), the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists (AAPT), and Sigma Xi. He has introduced and chairs numerous international symposia in his fields of interest. He was a recipient of the 1991 Lilly Foundation Fellowship. He was also the recipient of over ten certificates of appreciation and recognition for his professional activities and a Best Paper Award presented at the 2001 Design Automation Conference for his work on electromagnetic properties of interconnects and defects in integrated circuits (ICs).

of interconnects and defects in integrated circuits (ICs). Yaqiang Wang (S ’ 01 – M ’

Yaqiang Wang (S01M03) received the B.S. de- gree from Nanchang Technical and TeachersCol- lege, Nanchang, China, in 1993, the M.S. degree from Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, in 1996, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, in 2003. He is currently a Post-Doctoral Researcher with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of WisconsinMadison. His major research interest is the design and fabrication technologies for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). His current research involves developing MEMS-based scanning probe metrology tools for near-field microwave microscopy with microelectronic and biomedical applications.