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Adapting the Electron Beam from SEM as a Quantitative Heating Source for Nanoscale Thermal Metrology.


The electron beam (e-beam) in the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) provides an appealing mobile heating source for thermal metrology with spatial resolution of ∼1 nm, but the lack of systematic quantification of the e-beam heating power limits such application development. Here, we systemically study e-beam heating in LPCVD silicon nitride (SiNx) thin-films with thickness ranging from 200 to 500 nm from both experiments and complementary Monte Carlo simulations using the CASINO software package. There is good agreement about the thickness-dependent e-beam energy absorption of thin-film between modeling predictions and experiments. Using the absorption results, we then demonstrate adapting the e-beam as a quantitative heating source by measuring the thickness-dependent thermal conductivity of SiNx thin-films, with the results validated to within 7% by a separate Joule heating experiment. The results described here will open a new avenue for using SEM e-beams as a mobile heating source for advanced nanoscale thermal metrology development.

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