Variable Pressure/Environmental SEM a Powerful Tool for Nanotechnology and Nanomanufacturing
Michael T. Postek, Andras Vladar
Instrumentation and metrology are integral to the emerging nanotechnology enterprise, and have been identified by the U. S. National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) as one of a number of critical nanotechnology areas. Instrumentation and metrology crosscut all the NNI Grand Challenges, and are both vital to the success and commercialization of nanotechnology. Advances in fundamental nanoscience, design of new nano-materials, and ultimately manufacturing of new nanoscale products will all depend to a great degree on the capability to accurately and reproducibly measure properties and performance characteristics at the nanoscale. It is imperative that a strong measurement and standards infrastructure be developed to support this work and the developing nanomanufacturing industry. Decades of nanoscience research have led to remarkable progress in nanotechnology as well as an evolution of instrumentation and metrology suitable for some of the nanoscale measurements. One example of today's practical nanotechnology is the integrated circuit production with circuit structures less than 100 nm in size. This and other technologies need the best possible instrumentation to reach their full potential. Consequently, today's suite of metrology tools has been designed to meet the needs of exploratory nanoscale research, and new techniques, tool, instruments and infrastructure will be needed to support a successful nanotechnology industry manufacturing commercial products.