Focused electron and laser beams have shown the ability to form nanoscale pores in SiN x membranes. During the fabrication process, areas beyond the final nanopore location will inevitably be exposed to the electron beams or the laser beams due to the need for localization, alignment and focus. It remains unclear how these unintended exposures affect the integrity of the membrane. In this work, we demonstrate the use of confocal scanning photoluminescence (PL) for mapping the microscopic changes in SiN x nanopores when exposed to electron and laser beams. We developed and validated a model for the quantitative interpretation of the scanned PL result. The model shows that the scanning PL result is insensitive to the nanopore size. Instead, it is dominated by the product of two microscopic material factors: quantum yield profile (i.e. variations in electronic structure) and thickness profile (i.e. thinning of the membrane). We experimentally demonstrated that the electron and laser beams could alter the material electronic structures (i.e. quantum yield) even when no thinning of the membrane occurs. Our results suggest that minimizing the unintended e-beam or laser beam to the SiN x during the fabrication is crucial if one desires the microscopic integrity of the membrane.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering