Three-Dimensional High Resolution Imaging of Sidewall and Undercut Using The XE-3DM Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) by Park Systems

Topic List

The XE-3DM Atomic Force Microscope from Park Systems
Features of The XE-3DM Atomic Force Microscope
Limitations of Conventional 3D AFMs
     Flare Tip Limitations
     Tilted Step-in Tip Limitations
     Challenges with Accessing Sidewalls
The XE-3DM AFM vs. Conventional 3D AFMs
Complete 3D Metrology of Sidewalls using The XE-3DM AFM
High Resolution Imaging of Undercut and Sidewall Features Using The XE-3DM AFM

The XE-3DM Atomic Force Microscope from Park Systems

Continuing the Park Systems' impressive track record of developing optimized solutions, Park Systems introduces XE-3DM, an automatic AFM which revolutionizes the way trench, overhang, and undercut features are scanned and analyzed. The new XE-3DM also makes possible to image soft photoresist structures without deforming or damaging it.

Features of The XE-3DM Atomic Force Microscope

Key features of XE-3DM Atomic Force Microscope include:

  • Automated reference marker detection
  • Automatic Data Acquisition and Analysis of Trench, Overhang, and Undercut Features
  • High Resolution Access to Undercut and Sidewall
  • Non-Destructive CD and Sidewall Measurements by True Non-Contact Mode
  • Soft Photoresist Structures Can Be Imaged Non-Destructively
  • Critical Angle Measurement of Sidewalls
  • Automatic Tip Exchange (optional)

Limitations of Conventional 3D AFMs

Limitations of conventional 3D AFMs include:

  • Flare Tip Limitations
  • Tilted Step-in Tip Limitations
  • Challenges in Accessing Sidewall

Flare Tip Limitations

  • Flat and very wide bottom portion of the tip (>100nm)
  • Unable to produce detailed image of sidewalls
  • Limited accessibility to significant undercut samples
  • Slow scan rate & low resolution

Tilted Step-in Tip Limitations

  • Essentially tilted piezotubescanning both XY & Z
  • Point by point mapping
  • Low & limited resolution due to "step-in" approach
  • Very slow scan rate

Challenges in Accessing Sidewalls

Conventional AFM cannot get access to the sidewall, especially for overhang features

Other methods, such as the flare tips, are insufficient in obtaining the high resolution details of the sidewall due to its dull tip. For a deeper overhang, the bottom width cannot be reached at all.

The XE-3DM AFM vs. Conventional 3D AFMs

Innovative XE-3DM technology overcomes the challenges and limitations in conventional 3D AFMs by offering high resolution access to undercut and sidewall

  • Two independent XY and Z flexure scanners for sample and tip
  • Z-scanner tilted sideway from -38° to +38°
  • Access to overhang sidewall
  • Use of normal high aspect ratio tips for high resolution imaging

Complete 3D Metrology of Sidewalls using The XE-3DM AFM

XE-3DM offers complete 3D metrology of sidewall

  • High Resolution Sidewall Roughnesss Measurement
  • Critical Angel Measurement of Sidewalls
  • Critical Dimension Measurements of Vertical Sidewalls

High Resolution Imaging of Undercut and Sidewall Features Using The XE-3DM AFM

XE-3DM offers high resolution access to undercut and sidewall

  • Unique decoupled XY and Z scanning system with tilted Z scanner
  • Z-scanner is tilted sideways from -19 to +19 degrees and -38 to +38 degrees
  • Use of normal high aspect ratio tips for high resolution imaging
  • XY scan of up to 100 µm x 100 µm
  • Up to 25 µm Z scan range by high force scanner

Image of Undercut Overhang: Metal Overhang Structure

Image of Sidewall Roughness Measurement

Source: Park Systems

For more information on this source please visit Park Systems

Date Added: Nov 26, 2010 | Updated: Sep 20, 2013
Ask A Question

Do you have a question you'd like to ask regarding this article?

Leave your feedback
Submit