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Proceedings Paper

Low tip damage AFM technique development for nano structures characterization
Author(s): Biao Liu; Charles C Wang; Po-Fu Huang; Yuri Uritsky
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Paper Abstract

Ambient dynamic mode (tapping mode or intermittent-contact mode) AFM imaging has been used extensively for the characterization of the topography of nano structures. However, the results are beset with artifacts, because hard tapping of the AFM tip on sample surface usually causes premature tip damage. Through careful study of the cantilever amplitude and phase signals as functions of tip-to-sample distance, principle of non-contact AFM operation was discovered to enable high resolution and low tip damage AFM image acquisition [1, 2]. However, current study discovers that the conventional way of acquiring amplitude and phase versus distance curves gives erroneous non-contact operating range, because the tip gets damaged during the data acquisition process. A new technique is developed to reliably map the operating parameters of an intact tip that ensures the AFM be operated with the correct non-contact settings. Two examples are given to illustrate the successful applications of this new technique. The first example involves the size characterization of polystyrene latex (PSL) nano particles used for light scattering tool calibration. The second example is the development of robust recipes for the measurement of the depth of phase-shift mask trenches.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 June 2010
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7729, Scanning Microscopy 2010, 77290O (3 June 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.853948
Show Author Affiliations
Biao Liu, Applied Materials, Inc. (United States)
Charles C Wang, Applied Materials, Inc. (United States)
Po-Fu Huang, Applied Materials, Inc. (United States)
Yuri Uritsky, Applied Materials, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7729:
Scanning Microscopy 2010
Michael T. Postek; Dale E. Newbury; S. Frank Platek; David C. Joy, Editor(s)

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