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Proceedings Paper

Lateral tip control effects in CD-AFM metrology: the large tip limit
Author(s): Ronald Dixson; Ryan S. Goldband; Ndubuisi G. Orji
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Paper Abstract

Critical dimension atomic force microscopes (CD-AFMs) use flared tips and two-dimensional sensing and control of the tip-sample interaction to enable scanning of features with near-vertical or even reentrant sidewalls. Sidewall sensing in CD-AFM usually involves lateral dither of the tip, which was the case in the first two generations of instruments. Current, third generation instruments also utilize a control algorithm and fast response piezo actuator to position the tip in a manner that resembles touch-triggering of coordinate measuring machine (CMM) probes. All methods of tip position control, however, induce an effective tip width that may deviate from the actual geometrical tip width. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been investigating the dependence of effective tip width on the dither settings and lateral stiffness of the tip, as well as the possibility of material effects due to sample composition. We have concluded that these effects will not generally result in a residual bias, provided that the tip calibration and sample measurement are performed under the same conditions. To further validate our prior conclusions about the dependence of effective tip width on lateral stiffness, we recently performed experiments using a very large non-CD tip with an etched plateau of approximately 2 μm width. The effective lateral stiffness of these tips is at least 20 times greater than typical CD-AFM tips, and these results supported our prior conclusions about the expected behavior for larger tips. The bottom-line importance of these latest observations is that we can now reasonably conclude that a dither slope of 3 nm/V is the baseline response due to the induced motion of the cantilever base.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 October 2015
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 9636, Scanning Microscopies 2015, 96360Q (21 October 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2199169
Show Author Affiliations
Ronald Dixson, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
Ryan S. Goldband, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
Binghamton Univ. (United States)
Ndubuisi G. Orji, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9636:
Scanning Microscopies 2015
Michael T. Postek; Dale E. Newbury; S. Frank Platek; Tim K. Maugel, Editor(s)

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