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Attofarad Capacitance Measurement with SMM

Application Notes

Organic thin ilms have found many applications in molecular electronics, sensors, lexible displays, and photovoltaic devices. The performance of those devices often strongly depends on the quality and homogeneity of the dielectric properties of the organic thin ilms. However, most of the existing techniques used for dielectric constant measurement are either for bulk materials or averaged over large areas, thus lacking the lateral resolution for localized characterization. Near-ield scanning microwave microscopy (NSMM) was one of the techniques developed for quantitative measurement of local complex dielectric constants.1,2,3 A number of attempts have been made to combine microwave analysis and AFM.4,5 The most recent development was to combine high precision microwave measurement of a vector network analyzer (VNA) and nanoscale capability of a high performance AFM for localized characterization. Here we demonstrate the application of scanning microwave microscopy (SMM) for the study of organic thin ilms, using self-assembled monolayers of decanethiol (C10) and octadecanethiol (C18) on Au(111) surface as a model system. The quantitative capacitance measurement was accomplished by carefully calibrating the instrument against a capacitance standard developed by NIST. With such calibration, the capacitances can be measured quantitatively with attofarad resolution.


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