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Rev Sci Instrum. 2008 Jun;79(6):063703. doi: 10.1063/1.2949109.

Modeling and characterization of a cantilever-based near-field scanning microwave impedance microscope.

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Department of Applied Physics and Geballe Laboratory for Advanced Materials, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


This paper presents a detailed modeling and characterization of a microfabricated cantilever-based scanning microwave probe with separated excitation and sensing electrodes. Using finite-element analysis, we model the tip-sample interaction as small impedance changes between the tip electrode and the ground at our working frequencies near 1 GHz. The equivalent lumped elements of the cantilever can be determined by transmission line simulation of the matching network, which routes the cantilever signals to 50 Omega feed lines. In the microwave electronics, the background common-mode signal is canceled before the amplifier stage so that high sensitivity (below 1 aF capacitance changes) is obtained. Experimental characterization of the microwave microscope was performed on ion-implanted Si wafers and patterned semiconductor samples. Pure electrical or topographical signals can be obtained from different reflection modes of the probe.


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