Table of Contents
ISRN Materials Science
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 637608, 17 pages
Review Article

Semiconductor Characterization by Scanning Ion Beam Induced Charge (IBIC) Microscopy

Department of Physics, CNISM and NIS Centre of Excellence, University of Torino, Via P. Giuria 1, 10125 Torino, Italy

Received 19 September 2012; Accepted 16 October 2012

Academic Editors: Y. Ge, Y. Kusano, V. Ralchenko, and H. Yasuda

Copyright © 2013 Ettore Vittone. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The ion beam induced charge (IBIC) technique is a scanning microscopy technique which uses finely focused MeV ion beams as probes to measure and image the transport properties of semiconductor materials and devices. Its success stems from the combination of three main factors: the first is strictly technical and lies in the availability of laboratories and expertise around the world to provide scanning MeV ion beams focused down to submicrometer spots. The second reason stems from the peculiarity of MeV ion interaction with matter, due to the ability to penetrate tens of micrometers with reduced scattering and to excite a high number of free carriers to produce a measurable charge pulse from each incident ion. Last, but not least, is the availability of a robust theoretical model able to extract from the measurements all the parameters for an exhaustive characterization of the semiconductor. This paper is focused on these two latter issues, which are examined by reviewing the current status of IBIC by a comprehensive survey of the theoretical model and remarkable examples of IBIC applications and of ancillary techniques to the study of advanced semiconductor materials and devices.