Imaging GHz polarization dynamics and microelectromechanical testing through parametric electrostatic excitation- a dynamic non-contact SPM technique
Introduced by Dr Dagou Zeze
One goal of scanning probe microscope (SPM) techniques is to illustrate spatial variations in characteristic properties of a sample surface, realizing this goal at submicron length scales that are on the order of (or better than) nanometres. Although the family of SPM approaches includes a range of “dynamic” techniques, most of these are limited by the frequencies associated with the mechanical resonance of the probe. The SPM technique discussed has been developed with a view to overcoming these bandwidth limitations. This non-contact electrostatic technique has the capability of exciting and responding to electronic processes far in excess of the mechanical resonance of the probe. The possible range for ‘pseudo-spectroscopic’ investigations of the dielectric character of materials is illustrated with images showing polarization responses due to the propagation and interference of 1.6 GHz surface acoustic waves. A closely-related approach has been developed to determine the resonant frequency and quality factor of a micromachined resonator some ten times greater than the resonant frequency of the probe. This has applicability in the non-destructive testing of micromachined devices that are still in the prototype stage and/or do not have operational or functioning surrounding circuitry to facilitate excitation for characterization purposes.
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