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Prototype of instrumentation for wide-bandwidth electrical characterisation at the nanoscale using Atomic Force Microscopy

With the objective of characterizing the electrical properties (both DC and AC) with nanoscale spatial resolution a full custom electronic instrumentation implemented on a commercial Atomic Force Microscopy has been developed.

The devloped set-up consists of a commercial Atomic Force Microscope (Nanotec Electronica, S.L.) coupled to a custom-made transimpedance amplifier that has been implemented to allow a multifunctional electrical characterisation with AFM. It is based on the integrator-differentiator scheme, but provided with an additional feedback loop to discharge the dc current. The amplifier can measure ac current over a wide spectrum, ranging from few Hz to MHz, simultaneously to dc current measurement, with a flat noise density of around 10fA/vHz up to10kHz and no time constraints. Thus, the implemented amplifier proves to be suited for a multipurpose electrical characterisation using AFM, namely IV measurement, impedance and noise.

The present set up for DC/AC electrical characterization at the nanoscale is not currently available in any commercial Atomic Force Microscope.

Its field of applications range from the characterization of thin film oxides in Electronics to self-assembled monolayers or biomembranes and liposomes in biochemistry and biosensor development.

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