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Performing Measurement of Surface Structures With the Calibrated Atomic Force Microscope



R Koning


The use of the atomic force microscope (AFM) to characterize surface structures for industrial applications is rapidly increasing. To compare the results obtained by different instruments and to achieve high accuracy, the scales of an AFM must be calibrated. Perhaps the most convenient and most appropriate method is the use of a calibration standard. To avoid any possible contributions to the calibration uncertainty due to different interactions used by different measurement methods, the AFM standards should be calibrated by using an AFM. Therefore we have built a calibrated AFM (C?AFM). It has metrology traceable to the wavelength of light for all three axes. To demonstrate the performance of the C?AFM, step height (from 18 nm to 180 nm) and pitch measurements (from 200 nm to 20 ?m) on commercially available calibration artifacts were taken. After optimizing the measurement procedure, the results of the step height measurement showed an excellent repeatability and agreed well with the values obtained by stylus measurements. The C?AFM measurements of pitch on several samples have been compared with a metrology optical microscope system (line scale interferometer) at NIST, and the observed agreement was well within the combined standard uncertainties.
Conference Location
Gaithersburg, MD
Conference Title
Sigma Xi Postdoc Poster Presentation, NIST (February)


metrology, pitch, scanning force microscope, step height


Koning, R. (1998), Performing Measurement of Surface Structures With the Calibrated Atomic Force Microscope, Sigma Xi Postdoc Poster Presentation, NIST (February), Gaithersburg, MD (Accessed June 16, 2024)


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Created February 1, 1998, Updated February 19, 2017