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10 December 2001 AFM tip calibration using nanometer-sized structures induced by ion beam sputtering
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Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is usually the instrument of choice for the investigation of the surface roughness of thin films. Often a detailed image and roughness analysis is hindered by tip artifacts. Many of these artifacts arise from a spatial convolution or dilation of the actual tip and the shape of the surface features imaged. Therefore a careful tip evaluation and calibration is important for a reliable roughness evaluation. In this study about a process for the fabrication of self- assembled nanometer-sized surface structures using low- energy ion sputtering of semiconductor surfaces is reported. The dimension of these structures (typically between 10 and 100 nm), the distance between them and their shape can be tuned by the parameters of the sputter process. With the help of surfaces prepared by this way the influence of the actual AFM tip quality on the measured surface topography was evaluated. Furthermore, it is shown that the tip quality has a strong influence on the parameters extracted from first- and second-order statistics of the surface roughness. This applies particularly with regard to surfaces characterized by a low surface roughness (approximately 1 nm) as generally obtained by means of thin film technologies.
© (2001) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Frank Frost, Dietmar Hirsch, Axel Schindler, and Bernd Rauschenbach "AFM tip calibration using nanometer-sized structures induced by ion beam sputtering", Proc. SPIE 4449, Optical Metrology Roadmap for the Semiconductor, Optical, and Data Storage Industries II, (10 December 2001);

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