Electric Force Microscopy (EFM)

Electric field detection with TappingMode topographic imaging

As consumer electronics become sleeker and smaller, they also increase in computing power and data storage capacity. Electronics development scientists often need to map the electronic characteristics of complex, sub-micron electrical materials and assemblies.

Electric Force Microscopy (EFM) measures electric field gradient distribution above the sample surface. EFM, like Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM) relies on LiftMode, a two-pass technique that interleaves TappingMode™ scan lines at the sample surface with scan lines at a designated height above the surface.

EFM is used for electrical failure analysis, detecting trapped charges, mapping electric polarization, and performing electrical read/write, among other applications. It is part of Bruker’s extensive suite of Nanoelectrical Characterization Modes.

 

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Topography (left) and EFM (right) images of Amorphous Bits on DVD-RW (5μm scan size). The EFM image clearly shows amorphous bits formed with the phase change on the crystalline area.
Image courtesy of Yasuko Ichikawa, Toyo Corporation, Japan.