Vol. 47

Latest Volume
All Volumes
All Issues

Analysis of Excitation Pulsed Signal Propagation for Atom Probe Tomography System

By Blaise Ravelo and Francois Vurpillot
Progress In Electromagnetics Research Letters, Vol. 47, 61-70, 2014


The purpose of this paper is on the behavioural modelling of surge voltage pulses used in Atom Probe Tomography. After brief description of the atom probe functioning principle, we examine the excitation electrical pulse signal integrity along the electric pulser (E-pulser) feeding line modelling with respect to the IEC1733/04 standard. This feeding electric line is ended by cylindrical via ground to control the ion emission. By using the transmission line (TL) ultra-broadband RLCG model, the propagating pulsed signals degradation is predicted. The signal propagation was analysed in both frequency and time domains by taking into account the substrate dispersion. The wideband frequency behaviours of the surge signal along the feeding line were examined from DC-to-2 GHz. In addition, by considering pulse surge signals with pulse-width and rise-/fall-time parameters (T1=9 ns, tr1=tf1=1.6 ns) and (T2=30 ns, tr2=4 ns/tf2=18 ns), the transient responses from 5 cm to -20 cm length TL are characterized. It was shown that the excitation pulse was significantly distorted. It was emphasized that the operated signal delay varies from 0.3 ns-to-1.5 ns in function of the via capacitor value. The time-dependent radiated E-field on the performance of the atom probe system which enables to characterize the nature of tested materials (ions or atoms) is discussed. The presented analysis approach is particularly useful for E-pulser integrated in measurement scientific instruments as Atom Probe Tomography time of flight optimisation, a nano-analysing technique that uses ultra-sharp high vacuum pulse to induce controlled erosion of samples. In this application, the excitation voltage pulse integrity during the propagation is required in order to improve the measurement instrument performances.


Blaise Ravelo and Francois Vurpillot, "Analysis of Excitation Pulsed Signal Propagation for Atom Probe Tomography System," Progress In Electromagnetics Research Letters, Vol. 47, 61-70, 2014.


    1. Deutsch, A., G. V. Kopcsay, P. Restle, G. Katopis, W. D. Becker, H. Smith, P. W. Coteus, C. W. Surovic, B. J. Rubin, R. P. Dunne, T. Gallo, K. A. Jenkins, L. M. Terman, R. H. Dennard, G. A. Sai-Halasz, and D. R. Knebel, "When are transmission-line effects important for on-chip interconnections?," IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory and Techniques, Vol. 45, 1836-1846, Oct. 1997.

    2. Eudes, T., B. Ravelo, T. Lacrevaz, and B. Flechet, "Distributed model of two-level asymmetrical PCB interconnect tree," Proc. of 2013 International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC Europe), 132-137, Brugge, Belgium, Sep. 2-6, 2013.

    3. Ravelo, B., "Delay modelling of high-speed distributed interconnect for the signal integrity prediction," Eur. Phys. J. Appl. Phys., Vol. 57, 31002-1-31002-8, Feb. 2012.

    4. Buckwalter, J. F., "Predicting microwave digital signal integrity," IEEE Trans. Advanced Packaging, Vol. 32, No. 2, 280-289, May 2009.

    5. Zhang, G.-H., M. Xia, and X.-M. Jiang, "Transient analysis of wire structures using time domain integral equation method with exact matrix elements," Progress In Electromagnetics Research, Vol. 92, 281-298, 2009.

    6. Ravelo, B., "Behavioral model of symmetrical multi-level T-tree interconnects," Progress In Electromagnetics Research B, Vol. 41, 23-50, 2012.

    7. Muller, E. W., J. A. Panitz, and S. B. McLane, "The atom probe field ion microscope," Review of Scientific Instruments, Vol. 39, No. 1, 83-88, 1968.

    8. Blavette, D., A. Bostel, J. M. Sarrau, B. Deconihout, and A. Menand, "An atom-probe for three dimensional tomography," Nature, Vol. 363, 432-435, 1993.

    9. Gault, B., F. Vurpillot, A. Vella, M. Gilbert, A. Menand, D. Blavette, and B. Deconihout, "Design of a femtosecond laser assisted tomographic atom probe," Review of Scientific Instruments, Vol. 77, No. 4, 043705, 2006.

    10. Kelly, T. F. and M. K. Miller, "Atom probe tomography," Review of Scientific Instruments, Vol. 78, No. 3, 031101, 2007.

    11. Menand, A. and D. Blavette, "Sonde atomique tridimensionnelle,", P902, 1-7, Techniques de l'Ingenieur, Jul. 1995 (in French).

    12. Vurpillot, F. and A. Bostel, "Tomographic atomic probe comprising a high voltage electric pulse electro-optical generator,", Patent No. 057721, 2010.

    13. Gault, B., M. P. Moody, J. M. Cairney, and S. P. Ringer, "Atom probe microscopy," Springer Series in Materials Science, Vol. 160, 29-68, 2012.

    14. Kelly, T. F., T. T. Gribb, J. D. Olson, R. L. Martens, J. D. Shepard, S. A. Wiener, T. C. Kunicki, R. M. Ulfg, D. R. Lenz, E. M. Strennen, E. Oltman, J. H. Bunton, and D. R. Strait, "First data from a commercial local electrode atom probe (LEAP)," Microscopy and Microanalysis, Vol. 10, 373-383, 2004.

    15. Miller, M. K., "Atom probe tomography and field ion microscopy: Ion-beam techniques," Characterization of Materials, 2nd Edition, May 2012, Doi: 10.1002/0471266965.com145.

    16. Tourek, C. J., "Application of atom probe tomography to the investigation of atomic force microscope tips and interfacial phenomena,", Ph.D. Thesis, Iowa State University, USA, 2012.

    18., , www.belke.com.

    18. Kohler, S., V. Couderc, R. P. O'connor, D. Arnaud-Cormos, and P. Leveque, "A versatile high voltage nano- and sub-nanosecond pulse generator," IEEE Trans. Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation, Vol. 20, No. 4, 1201-1208, Aug. 2013.

    19. Yuan, J., Yuan, J., W. Xie, H. Liu, J. Liu, H. Li, X. Wang, and W. Jiang, "High-power semi-insulating GaAs photoconductive semiconductor switch employing extrinsic photoconductivity," IEEE Trans. Plasma Sci., Vol. 37, No. 10, 1959-1963, Oct. 2009.

    20. European Standard, "Connector for electronic equipment --- Tests measurements --- Part 25-7: Test 25g --- Impedance, reflection coe±cient and voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR),", NF EN 60512-25-7, Jun. 2005.

    21. Blood Jr., W. R., ECL System Design Handbook, 45 & 48, Motorola Semiconductor Products, Inc., Phoenix, AZ , 1988.

    22. Buchanan, J. E., BiCMOS/CMOS Systems Design, 109, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1991.