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Electron-Beam-Induced Carbon Contamination on Silicon: Characterization Using Raman Spectroscopy and Atomic Force Microscopy

  • Deborah Lau (a1) (a2), Anthony E. Hughes (a1) (a2), Tim H. Muster (a1) (a2), Timothy J. Davis (a1) (a2) and A. Matthew Glenn (a3)...


Electron-beam-induced carbon film deposition has long been recognized as a side effect of scanning electron microscopy. To characterize the nature of this type of contamination, silicon wafers were subjected to prolonged exposure to 15 kV electron beam energy with a probe current of ∼300 pA. Using Raman spectroscopy, the deposited coating was identified as an amorphous carbon film with an estimated crystallite size of 125 Å. Using atomic force microscopy, the cross-sectional profile of the coating was found to be raised and textured, indicative of the beam raster pattern. A map of the Raman intensity across the coating showed increased intensity along the edges and at the corner of the film. The intensity profile was in excess of that which could be explained by thickness alone. The enhancement was found to correspond with a modeled local field enhancement induced by the coating boundary and showed that the deposited carbon coating generated a localized disturbance in the opto-electrical properties of the substrate, which is compared and contrasted with Raman edge enhancement that is produced by surface structure in silicon.


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