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Traceable Calibration of a Critical Dimension Atomic Force Microscope

Published

Author(s)

Ronald G. Dixson, Ndubuisi G. Orji, Craig D. McGray, John E. Bonevich, Jon C. Geist

Abstract

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has a multifaceted program in atomic force microscope (AFM) dimensional metrology. One component of this program, and the focus of this paper, is the use of critical dimension atomic force microscopy (CD-AFM). CD-AFM is a commercially available AFM technology that uses flared tips and two-dimensional surface sensing to scan the sidewalls of near-vertical or even reentrant features. Features of this sort are commonly encountered in semiconductor manufacturing and other nanotechnology industries. NIST has experience in the calibration and characterization of CD-AFM instruments and in the development of uncertainty budgets for typical measurands in semiconductor manufacturing metrology. A third generation CD-AFM was recently installed at NIST. The current performance of this instrument for pitch and height measurements appears to support our relative expanded uncertainty (k = 2) goals in the range of 1.0 × 10-3 down to 1.0 × 10-4. Additionally, a new generation of the NIST single crystal critical dimension reference material (SCCDRM) project is pushing toward feature widths below 10 nm, with the prospect of CD-AFM tip width calibration having expanded uncertainty (k = 2) below 1 nm.
Citation
Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS
Volume
11
Issue
1

Keywords

CD-AFM, metrology, CD, linewidth, standards, calibration, traceability, HRTEM, SCCDRM

Citation

Dixson, R. , Orji, N. , McGray, C. , Bonevich, J. and Geist, J. (2012), Traceable Calibration of a Critical Dimension Atomic Force Microscope, Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS (Accessed July 6, 2022)
Created March 9, 2012, Updated February 19, 2017