Error Sources in Atomic Force Microscopy for Dimensional Measurements: Taxonomy and Modeling

[+] Author and Article Information
F. Marinello

DIMEG, University of Padova, Padova 35131, Italyfrancesco.marinello@unipd.it

S. Carmignato

DTG, University of Padova, Vicenza 36100, Italysimone.carmignato@unipd.it

A. Voltan

DIMEG, University of Padova, Padova 35131, Italyalessandro.voltan@unipd.it

E. Savio

DIMEG, University of Padova, Padova 35131, Italyenrico.savio@unipd.it

L. De Chiffre

MEK, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby 2800, Denmarkldch@mek.dtu.dk.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 132(3), 030903 (May 13, 2010) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4001242 History: Received February 26, 2008; Revised February 09, 2010; Published May 13, 2010; Online May 13, 2010

This paper aimed at identifying the error sources that occur in dimensional measurements performed using atomic force microscopy. In particular, a set of characterization techniques for errors quantification is presented. The discussion on error sources is organized in four main categories: scanning system, tip-surface interaction, environment, and data processing. The discussed errors include scaling effects, squareness errors, hysteresis, creep, tip convolution, and thermal drift. A mathematical model of the measurement system is eventually described, as a reference basis for errors characterization, with an applicative example on a reference silicon grating.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

An overview of different distortions occurring in AFM topographies; color equalization is linear with topography: darker and lighter regions refer, respectively, to lower and higher z values. (a) Reference waffle surface with a 3 μm pitch and 250 nm height. (b) Scaling due to noncalibrated instrument axes; (c) nonlinearity due, for instance, to hysteresis problems; (d) nonorthogonality of scanning x and y axes; (e) bow effect; (f) bending due to creep of the piezo-actuator; (g) overshoots; (h) artifacts due to particles pick up; (i) dilation due to tip convolution; (j) noisy measurement; (k) vertical drift between subsequent profiles; (l) horizontal drift between subsequent profiles; (m) effect of inappropriate profiles leveling; (n) result of severe Fourier filtering; (o) effect of severe Gaussian filtering.

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Figure 2

(a) Representation of a tube scanner movement causing bow and (b) AFM topography on a flat sample, presenting image bow

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Figure 3

Fringes around NiO structures due to mode-switching (29)

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Figure 4

Tip radius curvature effect: (a) holes shrinking and peaks broadening; ((b) and (c)) tip curvature effect

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Figure 5

Scheme of the cosine error, occurring with best fitting plane subtraction

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Figure 6

Percentage standard deviation of the calibration coefficients reported in a logarithmic scale and divided by scan mode (open loop and closed loop) and scan direction (x and y). The second axis reports the average residual deviation of the open-loop and of the closed-loop scans after correction with the correspondent calibration coefficient. The void markers relative to the open-loop residual deviation indicate an improper correction, due to the high standard deviation of the correspondent calibration coefficient.




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