An Oxford Instruments company, Asylum Research, develops an improved atomic force microscopy (AFM) technique known as the Scanning Microwave Impedance Microscopy (sMIM). This technique not only provides nanomechanical and nanoelectrical information but also allows nanoscale mapping of permittivity (capacitance) and conductivity (resistance) with higher resolution and superior sensitivity.
sMIM requires minimal sample preparation and it is capable of delivering at a ten times higher sensitivity than conventional modes. This technique has also demonstrated higher and consistent lateral resolution under ambient conditions, achieving <50 nm. sMIM enables up to 80 times faster imaging than similar techniques and improves the quality of data while simplifying data interpretation.
This exclusive technology is compatible with a wide range of materials including conductors, semiconductors and insulators. It is also sensitive to sub-surface structures, enabling imaging of structures under insulating or dielectric films as thick as 100 nm. The common applications of sMIM includes dopant profiling, failure analysis, ferroelectrics, thin film, buried charge and carbon nanotubes.
Source: Asylum Research