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Traceable Calibration of a Critical Dimension Atomic Force Microscope



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


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.
Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS


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


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 April 24, 2024)
Created March 9, 2012, Updated February 19, 2017