We at NIST are building a metrology instrument called the Molecular Measuring Machine (MMM) with the goal of performing 2D point-to-point measurements with one nanometer accuracy cover a 50 mm by 50 mm area. The instrument combines a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) to probe the surface and a Michelson interferometer system to measure the probe movement, both with sub-nanometer resolution. The instrument also feature millidegree temperature control at 20 degrees C, an ultra-high vacuum environment with a base pressure below 10^(-5) Pa, and seismic and acoustic vibration isolation. High-accuracy pitch measurements have been performed on 1D gratings. In one experiment, the MMM STM probe imaged an array of laser-focused, atomically deposited chromium lines over an entire 5 micrometers by 1 mm area. Analysis of the data yielded an average line spacing of 212.69 nm with a 5 pm standard uncertainty. The uncertainty estimate is derived for an analysis of the sources of uncertainty for a 1 mm point-to-point measurement, including the effects of alignment, Abbe offset, motion cross-coupling, and temperature variations. In another measurement, the STM probe continuously tracked a holographically-produced grating surface for 10 mm, counting out 49,996 lines and measuring an average line spacing of 200.011 nm with a 5 pm standard uncertainty.
Proceedings Title: Proceedings of SPIE, Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XIII, Bhanwar Singh, Editor
Conference Dates: March 15, 1999
Conference Location: Santa Clara, CA
Conference Title: Poster Session
Pub Type: Conferences
length metrology, Michelson interferometry, scanning tunneling microscopy