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Scanning probe characterization of novel semiconductor materials and devices


As semiconductor devices shrink in size, it becomes more important to characterize and understand electronic properties of the materials and devices at the nanoscale. Scanning probe techniques offers numerous advantages over traditional tools used for semiconductor materials and devices characterization including high spatial resolution, ease of use and multi-functionality for electrical characterization, such as current, potential and capacitance, etc. In the first chapter, the basic principle of atomic force microscopy (AFM), and its application to characterization of semiconductor materials and devices are discussed. In the second part of the thesis, scanning capacitance microscopy (SCM), spectroscopy (SCS) and scanning Kelvin probe microscopy (SKPM) are used to investigate the structure and electronic properties of nitride based materials and devices, specifically doping in p-type GaN and electronic structure and morphology of InxGa1-xN/GaN quantum wells. In this work, AFM is used to characterize the local electronic structure in nitride thin film and heterostructures devices. In next part the thesis, AFM is used as an active part of the device, in conductive atomic force microscopy (C-AFM) and scanning gate microscopy (SGM), to study the transport properties and gating effect of InAs semiconductor nanowire based field effect transistor. This is made possible because the nanowire, as a potential one-dimension building block for high performance electronics and optoelectronics, has a diameter comparable to the size of AFM tips. In the last part of the thesis (appendix), SKPM is used to characterize semiconductor-like organic thin films, where measurements of the potential profile along the channel of an organic thin film transistor (OTFT) at different gate bias are presented to illustrate the unique transport property of such devices

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