Scanning-probe Single-electron Capacitance Spectroscopy
Author(s)Walsh, Kathleen A.; Romanowich, Megan E.; Gasseller, Morewell; Kuljanishvili, Irma; Ashoori, Raymond; Tessmer, Stuart; ... Show more Show less
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The integration of low-temperature scanning-probe techniques and single-electron capacitance spectroscopy represents a powerful tool to study the electronic quantum structure of small systems - including individual atomic dopants in semiconductors. Here we present a capacitance-based method, known as Subsurface Charge Accumulation (SCA) imaging, which is capable of resolving single-electron charging while achieving sufficient spatial resolution to image individual atomic dopants. The use of a capacitance technique enables observation of subsurface features, such as dopants buried many nanometers beneath the surface of a semiconductor material. In principle, this technique can be applied to any system to resolve electron motion below an insulating surface. As in other electric-field-sensitive scanned-probe techniques, the lateral spatial resolution of the measurement depends in part on the radius of curvature of the probe tip. Using tips with a small radius of curvature can enable spatial resolution of a few tens of nanometers. This fine spatial resolution allows investigations of small numbers (down to one) of subsurface dopants. The charge resolution depends greatly on the sensitivity of the charge detection circuitry; using high electron mobility transistors (HEMT) in such circuits at cryogenic temperatures enables a sensitivity of approximately 0.01 electrons/Hz[superscript ½] at 0.3 K[superscript 5].
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics
Journal of Visualized Experiments
Walsh, Kathleen A., Megan E. Romanowich, Morewell Gasseller, Irma Kuljanishvili, Raymond Ashoori, and Stuart Tessmer. “Scanning-Probe Single-Electron Capacitance Spectroscopy.” Journal of Visualized Experiments no. 77 (July 30, 2013).
Final published version