Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

An Instrument for Calibrating Atomic Force Microscope Standards



J Schneir, T Mcwaid, Theodore V. Vorburger


To facilitate the use of AFMs for manufacturing we have initiated a project to develop and calibrate artifacts which can in turn be used to calibrate a commercial AFM so that subsequent AFM measurement are accurate and traceable back to the wavelength of light. We plan to calibrate our artifacts using a specially designed AFM system which we call the Calibrated AFM (C-AFM). The C-AFM has been constructed as much as possible out of commercially available components. We use a flexure stage driven by piezoelectric transducers for scanning; a heterodyne interferometer to measure the X-Y position of the sample; a capacitance sensor to measure the Z position of the sample; and a commercially available AFM control system. The control system has two feedback loops which read from the X and Y interferometers, respectively, and adjust the piezoelectric voltages to keep the X-Y scan position accurate. The critical electromechanical and metrology issues involved in the construction and operation of such a system are discussed in detail.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of SPIE
Conference Dates
March 2, 1994
Conference Location
San Jose, CA, USA
Conference Title
Integrated Circuit Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control VIII, Marylyn H. Bennett, Editor May 1994


Schneir, J. , Mcwaid, T. and Vorburger, T. (1994), An Instrument for Calibrating Atomic Force Microscope Standards, Proceedings of SPIE, San Jose, CA, USA (Accessed July 15, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created April 30, 1994, Updated October 12, 2021