AFMWorkshop Newsletter

This July, AFM Workshop is happy to present our NP-AFM for nano-profiling applications. The NP-AFM is a nano-profiler used for analysis of features such as surface roughness and metrology of technical samples. With a price point starting around $35,000, this AFM is ideal for researchers and process development engineers who need routine AFM scanning on a limited budget. For a quick overview of the NP-AFM, check out the NP-AFM Video.

AFM Workshop’s NP-AFM is primarily intended for use in process development and process control of technical samples. This atomic force microscope is capable of scanning samples as wide as 200 mm, including wafers, discs, and other technical samples for nanotechnology research. With a noise floor as low as 0.1 nm, this high-resolution stylus profiler is capable of making several types of measurements on processed wafers including visualization of surface features, surface roughness and step-height measurements. Some example measurements below illustrate the capabilities of the NP-AFM.

The NP-AFM is allows researchers and engineers to perform several types of measurements on large samples used in process control and development. Visualization of surface features helps us understand why a given process is working or not working. Surface roughness measurements at the nanoscale are possible only with AFMs; in the proper vibration isolation environment, it is possible to measure surface textures down to 0.1 nm. Step height measurements between 0.3 nm up to 1 µm can also be done using an NP-AFM.

The following are 3 example of measurements taken on a patterned wafer polished by CMP (chemical mechanical planarization). Fig 1 describes the regions where measurements were taken. Also visible in Fig 1 is the cantilever with reflected laser light used in the AFM force sensor.

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