As the dimensions of semiconductor devices are increasingly reducing, two dimensional (2D) doping profiling techniques on the nano-meter scale is emerging as a very important issue for the semiconductor industry. As evidenced by the numerous discussions at recent conferences, scanning probe microscopy (SPM) based methods are among the most suitable because of their high spatial resolution. Scanning Capacitance Microscopy has the potential to become one of the most useful methods for measurements of doping/carrier concentrations. However, like all SPM techniques, SCM still does not fully meet the requirements of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) in terms of spatial resolution, quantification accuracy, sensitivity and reproducibility. Hence further progress in this field is strongly required. The objective of this proposal is to continue a dedicated research activity on SCM taking advantage of previous training. A great variety of dedicated test structures will allow investigating optimal experimental conditions for SCM. Explorative manipulations on ultra-sharp tips will be performed to reduce tip wear and to obtain a sub-10 nm resolution as required by the ITRS targets. Alternatively, other techniques derived from SCM will be exploited to enhance the performance levels of this 2D-profiling tool. In the framework of national and European networks, strong interaction with research groups and industrial partners will be also developed. In particular, the networking will ensure comparisons between SCM and complementary SPM methods to bring them towards the required limits. Through this work, we expect to improve our scientific knowledge in order to reach a high degree of expertise in SCM. The improvement of the method is a real challenge and could give the opportunity to transfer it as a standard and a routine characterisation technique for an accurate and reproducible quantitative 2D analysis in the microelectronics industry.
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