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Thickness determination of thin and ultra-thin SiO 2 films by C-AFM IV-spectroscopy

Frammelsberger, Werner; Benstetter, Guenther; Kiely, Janice; Stamp, Richard


Werner Frammelsberger

Guenther Benstetter

Janice Kiely
Professor in Bio-electronics/Res In CoDi

Richard Stamp


Conductive atomic force microscopy was used to determine the electrical oxide thickness for five different silicon dioxide layers with thickness in the order of 1.6-5.04 nm. The electrical thickness results were compared with values determined by ellipsometry. A semi-analytical tunnelling current model with one single parameter set was used to superpose current/voltage curves in both the direct tunnelling and the Fowler-Nordheim tunnelling regime regions. The overall electrical oxide thickness was determined by statistical means from results of nearly 3000 IV-curves recorded for different conductive CoCr-coated tips. Good agreement between the shape of model and experimental data was achieved, widely independent of the oxide thickness. Compared with the ellipsometry value, the electrical thickness was larger by a value of 0.36 nm (22%) for the thinnest oxide and smaller by a value of 0.31 nm (6%) for the thickest oxide, while intermediate values yielded differences better than 0.15 nm (


Frammelsberger, W., Benstetter, G., Kiely, J., & Stamp, R. (2006). Thickness determination of thin and ultra-thin SiO 2 films by C-AFM IV-spectroscopy. Applied Surface Science, 252(6), 2375-2388.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 15, 2006
Journal Applied Surface Science
Print ISSN 0169-4332
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 252
Issue 6
Pages 2375-2388
Keywords AFM, C-AFM, MOS, silicon dioxide, tunnelling
Public URL
Publisher URL http:\\\10.1016/j.apsusc.2005.04.010