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ASM announces new products at AVS 1996

Advanced Surface Microscopy announces new products and services at the American Vacuum Society National Meeting in Philadelphia. See us at booth 938, Tuesday Oct. 15 - Thursday Oct. 17.

#1) Advanced Surface Microscopy is showing with MOXTEK the SPM CalibratorTM, a new standard for image accuracy in scanning probe microscopy. SPM CalibratorTM helps correct image distortion and improves the accuracy of critical dimension measurements 5- to 10-fold. It also simplifies routine QC tests of SPM performance.

Advanced Surface Microscopy is also showing its DiscTrackTM measurement system. DiscTrackTM provides a complete solution to the problem of measuring track pitch for DVD (Digital Versatile Disc), the new high density compact disc format. It is also useful for feature measurement on magnetic disks.

Related technical presentations:

a) "High Precision Calibration of a Scanning Probe Microscope (SPM) for Manufacturing Applications", D.A. Chernoff et al. Thursday Oct. 17 11:40AM. Session NS-ThM. Room 202 A/B. See abstract.

b) "Bit-by-Bit: Metrology for the Disc Industry", D.A. Chernoff, presentation at Digital Instruments (now Bruker Nano) NanoScope Users Meeting.

#2) Advanced Surface Microscopy is showing applications of phase imaging , a new technique in Scanning Probe Microscopy. Phase imaging provides new information about composite surfaces, showing the spatial location of the component materials, with lateral resolution down to 10 nm. This impacts industries including electronics, health care, and food packaging. Advanced Surface Microscopy has been a leader in scanning probe microscopy analytical services and research since 1990.

Related technical presentation: "Tapping Mode/Phase Imaging of Composite Surfaces", D.A. Chernoff et al. Monday October 14 11:20 AM. Session SS+TF+NS-MoM. Room 203B. See abstract.


AVS abstracts


Donald A. Chernoffa, Jason D. Lohra, Douglas Hansenb, and Michael Linesb

aAdvanced Surface Microscopy, Inc., Indianapolis, IN

bMOXTEK, Inc., Orem, UT

A general purpose SPM can function as a metrology SPM when used with a new type of calibration standard and new software. We illustrate this process by measuring the nominal 740-nm track pitch on high density compact discs (DVD).

We used a 288-nm pitch, 1-dimensional holographic grating (MOXTEK) as the calibration reference. It consists of a Silicon substrate with a patterned photoresist, overcoated with a tungsten thin film. The holographic exposure process assures uniform feature spacing over the entire specimen area, with an expected accuracy of 0.1%. We operated a NanoScope III/Dimension 3000 large sample SPM in contact mode. To gather sufficient data for statistical analysis, we captured 15-micron wide images of the reference and unknown (compact disc) specimens. We analyzed average cross-section profiles using ASM's Calibrator Pro(TM) software, which reports feature locations with subpixel precision and reveals subtle image distortions. We corrected the nonlinear SPM length scale using additional software. Whereas the raw pitch values for the reference standard had = 4.4 nm, corrected pitch values had sd = 1.1 nm. One compact disc had sd= 27 nm and failed the DVD specification. A second disc had sd= 6.8 nm and passed.

We have demonstrated a new methodology for calibrating SPM images. The key innovations include: the use of a highly uniform, sub-micron pitch standard; the calculation of feature positions with sub-pixel precision; and replacement of the nonlinear raw length scale with a corrected, linear length scale. We have applied this method to a manufacturing problem requiring careful metrology.


Tapping Mode/Phase Imaging of Composite Surfaces.

D.A. Chernoff and J.D. Lohr, Advanced Surface Microscopy, Inc., 6009 Knyghton Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46220.

Composite surfaces of industrial interest may be created either deliberately (microfabrication of thin film recording heads, polymer processing) or accidentally (contaminants and defects). Tapping Mode/Phase images can map the material domains with spatial resolution down to 10 nm. Such images can be a powerful aid in process control.

Phase images show the mechanical phase of the tapping tip relative to the drive signal which oscillates the cantilever. The phase image supplements the ordinary height image and often provides unique contrast related to material differences in stiffness and adhesion.

We present several examples for both inorganic and organic systems, including:

- detection of photoresist residue on silicon

- identification of contaminant/wear particles on a magnetic recording head

- growth of corrosion films

- domains on a copolymer surface

- thin coatings of lignin on cellulose

- mixed Langmuir-Blodgett films

By scanning the same spot with different probes and operating modes, we showed that phase contrast correlated well with friction contrast in LFM. We discuss correlations with adhesion images. We compare phase images captured under ordinary low force conditions in air ("soft tapping") with those captured during "hard tapping" in air (as described by S. Magonov) and soft tapping in liquid.


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