Asylum Research


Scanning Microwave Impedance Microscopy (sMIM)

Scanning Microwave Impedance Microscopy (sMIM) enables high resolution electrical characterization with Asylum Research MFP-3D™ and Cypher S™ atomic force microscopes (AFMs). sMIM distinguishes between changes in capacitance and resistance, allowing it to operate on a wide range of linear and non-linear materials including conductors, semiconductors, and insulators. sMIM provides higher lateral resolution (<50nm) and superior signal-to-noise (>10X) while operating up to 80X faster and at lower power compared to competing technologies. sMIM is based on proprietary shielded AFM probes and electronics developed by PrimeNano, Inc. and is available integrated exclusively with Asylum AFMs.

  • More information – DC capacitance, DC resistance, dC/dV, and dR/dV

  • Higher sensitivity – at least 10X higher signal-to-noise vs. similar techniques

  • Higher lateral resolution – typically <50nm

  • Faster imaging – up to 80X faster than similar techniques

  • Greater versatility – works on conductors, semiconductors, and insulators




Download Data Sheet (4.6 MB)





sMIM images of an SRAM sample (20μm scan size, ~400nm tall features). These images demonstrate the variety of data types that sMIM can measure. DC Resistance can also be measured, but is not present in this data set. Note that although semiconductor samples like this one are a very common application area for sMIM, the technique is far more general and can be applied to most samples to help distinguish between different materials.


Oxford Instruments Asylum Research, Inc. • 6310 Hollister Ave. • Santa Barbara, CA  93117 •