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Transmission Electron Microscope Calibration Methods for Critical Dimension Standards



Ndubuisi G. Orji, Ronald G. Dixson, Domingo I. Garcia-Gutierrez, Bunday Benjamin, M R. Bishop, Michael W. Cresswell, Richard A. Allen, John Allgair


One of the key challenges in critical dimension (CD) metrology is finding suitable dimensional calibration standards. The transmission electron microscope (TEM), which produces lattice-resolved images having scale traceability to the SI (International System of Units) definition of length through an atomic lattice constant, has gained wide usage in different areas of CD calibration. One such area is critical dimension atomic force microscope (CD-AFM) tip width calibration. To properly calibrate CD-AFM tip widths, errors in the calibration process must be quantified. Although the use of TEM for CD-AFM tip width calibration has been around for about a decade, there is still confusion on what should be considered in the uncertainty analysis. We characterized CD-AFM tip- width samples using high resolution transmission electron microscope and high angle annular dark field scanning transmission electron microscope and two CD-AFMs that are implemented as reference measurement systems. The results are used to outline how to develop a rigorous uncertainty estimate for TEM/CD-AFM calibration, and to compare how information from the two electron microscopy modes are applied to practical CD-AFM measurements. The results also represent a separate validation of previous TEM/CD-AFM calibration. Excellent agreement was observed.
Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS


Linewidth, HR-TEM, HAADF-STEM, CD-AFM, Uncertainty


Orji, N. , Dixson, R. , Garcia-Gutierrez, D. , Benjamin, B. , Bishop, M. , Cresswell, M. , Allen, R. and Allgair, J. (2016), Transmission Electron Microscope Calibration Methods for Critical Dimension Standards, Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS, [online], (Accessed June 18, 2024)


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Created October 13, 2016, Updated February 17, 2019