Ultimate Nanoprobing with Four Independent Scanning Probe Microscopes

At a Glance

  • 4-Point Transport Measurements on Nanostructures
  • Electrical Contacting of Nanodevices
  • STM-Based Safe & Non-Destructive Tip Approach
  • Full STM Capability
  • High-Resolution, < 4 nm SEM Imaging for Rapid Tip Navigation
  • High-Resolution, < 10 nm SAM Imaging for Chemical Mapping
  • True UHV Operation for Clean & Artefact-Free Surfaces

A major challenge in nanotechnology is the incorporation of single nanodevices into large integrated circuits. Device technology research thus requires local electrical characterisation in combination with a probe navigation that bridges dimensions from the mm scale down to the nm scale.

The UHV NANOPROBE is a sophisticated analytical instrument specifically designed for local and non-destructive 4-point contact measurements and function testing of nanodevices within complex structures and integrated circuits. Omicron's proven SPM technology is the key to advancing probing technology into the nanometer scale. It ensures extremely accurate probe positioning and safe approach of fragile probe tips having diameters in the range of a few tens of nanometers or less.


SEM Imaging for Rapid Tip Navigation

For the navigation of four independent STM probe tips, simultaneous scanning electron microscopy (SEM) s indispensable. This enables a large field of view for probe coarse positioning as well as fine positioning and rapid localisation of nanometer-sized structures with the SEM's high resolution capabilities.

As the ultimate tool for rapid localization, the UHV Gemini column also gives access to chemical mapping by Scanning Auger Microscopy, magnetic imaging by SEM with polarisation analysis (SEMPA), and other electron spectroscopy methods. This unique combination of different techniques at the same position on the sample yields complementary information on sample conductance, topography, chemistry or magnetism.

Advancing the UHV Gemini column SEM resolution to below 4 nm in the UHV NANOPROBE has great impact on the capabilities of a nanoprobing system. It allows for the localisation of extremely small structures as well as rapid and precise positioning of probes by truly simultaneous SEM and STM operation. Even if the SEM beam current is in the range of the tunnelling current, the STM performance remains virtually unaffected.

The low beam energy performance of the UHV Gemini column minimises damage of sensitive samples and enables imaging of nearly insulating samples by minimising charging effects at energies in the 1 keV range. The hydrocarbon-free UHV environment avoids electron-beam-induced graphite formation and ensures stable imaging and ultra-clean conditions. Alternatively, various other UHV SEM columns or optical microscopes can cover the resolution range from the µm scale down to 20 nm if sample structures do not require the ultimate resolution provided by the UHV Gemini column.