We use cookies to improve your experience. By your continued use of this site you accept such use. To change your settings please see our Privacy Policy.

Non-destructive Analysis (NDA)

Circuit Edit (CKT)

Materials Analysis (MA)

Application Forms


MA-tek FTP


Technical Concept

A Conductive atomic force microscopy(C-AFM)is one of AFM’s functions. It consists of a microscale cantilever with a sharp tip(probe)at the end, and is used to obtain surface morphology with nanometer resolution.

The AFM is developed from the scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), invented by Gerd Binning and Heinrich Rohrer in 1983, earning them a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1986. When an AFM tip is close to a sample surface, the repulsive forces between the apex and sample would bend the cantilever according to Hooke's Law. With force control via the feedback system, high spatial resolution surface morphology can be obtained.


The C-AFM is similar to AFM but holds an additional voltage biases applied between tips and samples when scanning. The electric characteristic of local areas, such as contacts, can be obtained by I-V measurements, and then failures with more accurate location can be easily identified in the scanned image.

Schematic figure showing the setup of a C-AFM



Electric Field Microscopy(EFM)

Our C-FAM has another function called electrostatic force microscopy (EFM), which uses the electrostatic force between tips and samples to scan sample surfaces. Such mapping reflects the electric characteristic of a sample surface. Similar to C-AFM, a bias is applied on the tip and induces an electrostatic force between the tip and sample to causing the cantilever to bend. This can provide more surface information, such as electric potential and surface charge distribution.











  • It can be used in failure analysis for high resistance contact, junction leakage, gate oxide leakage, etc.
  • To identify various contact types. (P+/N+/Poly CT)
  • To diagnose failure mechanisms by comparing I-V curves on different contact types.
  • To measure I-V curve on a specific point.
  • To provide information about surface potential and charge distribution.


C-AFM provides surface topographies and I-V characteristics

(a) Topography  (b) Current with +1V bias  (c)Current with -1V bias


The I-V curves of [on] four different points (A, B C, D) by C-AFM




Taiwan Lab

Mr. Hsieh

: +886-3-6116678 ext:3702

: +886-952-301-632