In this image the 3D surface represents the topography, and the color shows the tip-sample current for a (001) Bi(Fe0.5Mn0.5)O3 (BFMO) film deposited on a substrate of (001) SrTiO3 with 0.5% Nb. Acquired in conducting AFM (CAFM) mode, the image reveals that the boundaries between crystalline grains (yellow-white) generally have much higher conductivity than the crystallite interiors (purple). The multiferroic and spin glass properties of BFMO films make them attractive for novel electronic devices. Scan size 1 µm, imaged with MFP-3D AFM; sample courtesy Thin Film Spintronic Structures Group, Dept. of Applied Physics and Optics, University of Barcelona.
In this image the 3D surface represents the topography, and the color shows the tip-sample current for a (001) Bi(Fe0.5Mn0.5)O3 (BFMO) film deposited on a substrate of (001) SrTiO3 with 0.5% Nb. Acquired in conducting AFM (CAFM) mode, the image reveals that the boundaries between crystalline grains (yellow-white) generally have much higher conductivity than the crystallite interiors (purple). The multiferroic and spin glass properties of BFMO films make them attractive for novel electronic devices. Scan size 1 µm, imaged with MFP-3D AFM; sample courtesy Thin Film Spintronic Structures Group, Dept. of Applied Physics and Optics, University of Barcelona.

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Thin films and coatings are critical in everything from common consumer products to next-generation photovoltaics and data storage. Regardless of application, enhanced film performance is increasingly achieved by controlling and manipulating materials on micro- and nanometer length scales. Thus the need to measure film structure and properties on similar scales has grown correspondingly important.

In this webinar, we explore the powerful capabilities of today’s atomic force microscopes (AFMs) for characterizing thin films. For example, the AFM is well known for its high-resolution topographic imaging capabilities. But recent improvements in speed, sensitivity, and ease of use make it more valuable than ever for quantifying 3D roughness and texture. We cover the basic concepts of surface imaging and analysis, and show illustrative examples.

Research and instrumentation advances have also produced a variety of AFM techniques to characterize electrical, electromechanical, and other functional response. We overview these techniques and discuss in detail an example of their application to memory access devices in the semiconductor industry. New capabilities for nanomechanical imaging are also briefly introduced.

With examples that cover a wide range of systems, this webinar highlights the impact and versatility of advanced AFMs for thin-film research and development.

Speakers:

Dr. Donna Hurley, Consultant, Lark Scientific LLC.
Dr. Kumar Virwani, Staff Member, IBM Research-Almaden.
Joe D'angelo, (Moderator), Materials Science Publisher.

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