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Michalas L.,CNR Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems | Brinciotti E.,Keysight Technologies Austria GmbH | Lucibello A.,CNR Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems | Gramse G.,Johannes Kepler University | And 4 more authors.
Microelectronic Engineering | Year: 2016

The paper presents a methodology for de-embedding scanning microwave microscopy (SMM) measurements, mainly for semiconductor characterization. Analytical modeling, a parametric study and experimental verification are presented. The proposed methodology is based on the analysis of system response in the linear scale, instead of the dB scale commonly utilized in RF measurements, and on expressing the standard calibration capacitances per unit area. In this way the total measured capacitance is determined by the tip area which is then obtained as a result of the model fitting on the experimental data. Additional evaluation is performed by a straightforward experimental comparison with the usually adopted technique that is based on the electrostatic force microscopy approach curve method. The results obtained by the application of both techniques on the same tip during the same experiment were found to be in good agreement and moreover allowed a detailed discussion on the features of each one of the two methodologies. The paper provides also in this way useful knowledge for the potential users in order to choose the most appropriate technique according to the corresponding SMM application. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

Oladipo A.O.,Bio Nano Consulting | Oladipo A.O.,University College London | Lucibello A.,National Research Council Italy | Kasper M.,Johannes Kepler University | And 6 more authors.
Applied Physics Letters | Year: 2014

We present a comprehensive analysis of the imaging characteristics of a scanning microwave microscopy (SMM) system operated in the transmission mode. In particular, we use rigorous three-dimensional finite-element simulations to investigate the effect of varying the permittivity and depth of sub-surface constituents of samples, on the scattering parameters of probes made of a metallic nano-tip attached to a cantilever. Our results prove that one can achieve enhanced imaging sensitivity in the transmission mode SMM (TM-SMM) configuration, from twofold to as much as 5× increase, as compared to that attainable in the widely used reflection mode SMM operation. In addition, we demonstrate that the phase of the S21-parameter is much more sensitive to changes of the system parameters as compared to its magnitude, the scattering parameters being affected the most by variations in the conductivity of the substrate. Our analysis is validated by a good qualitative agreement between our modeling results and experimental data. These results suggest that TM-SMM systems can be used as highly efficient imaging tools with new functionalities, findings which could have important implications to the development of improved experimental imaging techniques. © 2014 AIP Publishing LLC. Source

Lucibello A.,National Research Council Italy | Sardi G.M.,National Research Council Italy | Capoccia G.,National Research Council Italy | Proietti E.,National Research Council Italy | And 4 more authors.
Review of Scientific Instruments | Year: 2016

In this paper, we present in detail the design, both electromagnetic and mechanical, the fabrication, and the test of the first prototype of a Scanning Microwave Microscope (SMM) suitable for a two-port transmission measurement, recording, and processing the high frequency transmission scattering parameter S21 passing through the investigated sample. The S21 toolbox is composed by a microwave emitter, placed below the sample, which excites an electromagnetic wave passing through the sample under test, and is collected by the cantilever used as the detector, electrically matched for high frequency measurements. This prototype enhances the actual capability of the instrument for a sub-surface imaging at the nanoscale. Moreover, it allows the study of the electromagnetic properties of the material under test obtained through the measurement of the reflection (S11) and transmission (S21) parameters at the same time. The SMM operates between 1 GHz and 20 GHz, current limit for the microwave matching of the cantilever, and the high frequency signal is recorded by means of a two-port Vector Network Analyzer, using both contact and no-contact modes of operation, the latter, especially minded for a fully nondestructive and topography-free characterization. This tool is an upgrade of the already established setup for the reflection mode S11 measurement. Actually, the proposed setup is able to give richer information in terms of scattering parameters, including amplitude and phase measurements, by means of the two-port arrangement. © 2016 Author(s). Source

Sardi G.M.,National Research Council Italy | Lucibello A.,National Research Council Italy | Kasper M.,Johannes Kepler University | Gramse G.,Johannes Kepler University | And 3 more authors.
Applied Physics Letters | Year: 2015

In this work, we present the analytical modeling and preliminary experimental results for the choice of the optimal frequencies when performing amplitude and phase measurements with a scanning microwave microscope. In particular, the analysis is related to the reflection mode operation of the instrument, i.e., the acquisition of the complex reflection coefficient data, usually referred as S11. The studied configuration is composed of an atomic force microscope with a microwave matched nanometric cantilever probe tip, connected by a λ/2 coaxial cable resonator to a vector network analyzer. The set-up is provided by Keysight Technologies. As a peculiar result, the optimal frequencies, where the maximum sensitivity is achieved, are different for the amplitude and for the phase signals. The analysis is focused on measurements of dielectric samples, like semiconductor devices, textile pieces, and biological specimens. © 2015 AIP Publishing LLC. Source

Zhu R.,Johannes Kepler University | Sinwel D.,Johannes Kepler University | Hasenhuetl P.S.,Medical University of Vienna | Saha K.,Medical University of Vienna | And 16 more authors.
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2016

Controversy regarding the number and function of ligand binding sites in neurotransmitter/sodium symporters arose from conflicting data in crystal structures and molecular pharmacology. Here, we have designed novel tools for atomic force microscopy that directly measure the interaction forces between the serotonin transporter (SERT) and the S- and R-enantiomers of citalopram on the single molecule level. This approach is based on force spectroscopy, which allows for the extraction of dynamic information under physiological conditions thus inaccessible via X-ray crystallography. Two distinct populations of characteristic binding strengths of citalopram to SERT were revealed in Na+-containing buffer. In contrast, in Li+-containing buffer, SERT showed only low force interactions. Conversely, the vestibular mutant SERT-G402H merely displayed the high force population. These observations provide physical evidence for the existence of two binding sites in SERT when accessed in a physiological context. Competition experiments revealed that these two sites are allosterically coupled and exert reciprocal modulation. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Source

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