Park HDM Series AFM for Media and Substrate Manufacturing

Identifying nanoscale defects is very time consuming for engineers working with media and flat substrates. Park NX- HDM is an atomic force microscopy system which is designed to accelerate the defect review process by an order of magnitude through automated defect identification, scanning and analysis.

The Park NX-HDM links directly with a broad range of optical inspection tools, greatly increasing the automatic defect review throughput. Scan after scan, the Park NX-HDM is capable of providing accurate sub-angstrom surface roughness measurements.

The Park NX-HDM, with the industry's lowest noise floor and unique True Non-Contact™ technology, is the most accurate AFM for surface roughness measurement available in the market.


Automatic Defect Review for Media and Substrates

Higher Throughput, Automatic Defect Review

The Automatic Defect Review (Park ADR) in the NX-HDM accelerates and improves the way defects in media and substrates are identified, scanned and analyzed. Using the defect location map provided from an optical inspection tool, Park ADR automatically goes to those locations, and images the defects in two steps:

  1. Image a larger survey scan to refine the defect location
  2. Image a smaller zoom-in scan to acquire the details of the defect

Compared to conventional methods, test runs with real defects show a 10x increase in throughput for defect review in an automated process.

Automated Search Scan & Zoom-in Scan

Optimized scan parameters facilitates a rapid two-step scan:

  1. A rapid, low resolution search scan to spot the defect
  2. A high resolution zoom-in scan to acquire defect details

The scan speed and scan size parameters are adjustable.


Automatic Transfer and Alignment of Defect Maps to AFM

Using an advanced proprietary mapping algorithm, the defect map obtained from automated optical inspection (AOI) tool is accurately transferred and mapped onto the Park NX-HDM. This technology allows full automation for high throughput defect imaging.

Map of Defect Coordinates from an Optical Inspection Tool


Accurate Sub-Angstrom Surface Roughness Measurement

Sub-Angstrom, Surface Roughness Measurement

Industries increasingly require ultra-flat media and substrates to address the need for ever-shrinking device dimensions. Scan after scan, Park NX-HDM provides accurate sub-angstrom surface roughness measurements.

With its industry's lowest noise floor and unique True Non-Contact™ technology, Park NX-HDM is the most accurate AFM in the market for surface roughness measurement.


Accurate AFM Scan by True Non-Contact™ Mode

True Non-Contact™ Mode


  • Less tip wear = Prolonged high-resolution scan
  • Non-destructive tip-sample interaction = Reduced sample modification
  • Immunity from parameter dependent resultsImage

Tapping Imaging


  • Destructive tip-sample interaction = Sample modification and damage
  • Highly parameter-dependent
  • Quick tip wear = Blurred low-resolution scanImage

Accurate AFM Topography with Low-Noise Z Detector

True Sample Topography™ without piezo creep error

  • Low noise Z detector signal is used for Topography
  • Low Z detector noise of 0.02 nm over a large bandwidth



  • No edge overshoot at the trailing and leading edges
  • Calibration needs to be done only once at the factory

Conventional AFM


Key Features

The main features of the Park NX-HDM are as follows:

Fully Automated Pattern Recognition


Fully automated pattern recognition and alignment is made possible for user applications through the use of a powerful combination of a high-resolution digital CCD camera and pattern recognition software.

Automatic Measurement Control


The Park NX-HDM is equipped with automated software that makes operation nearly effortless. The desired measurement program is selected to get a precise multi-site analysis with optimized settings for cantilever tuning, gain, scan rate and set point parameters as a recipe.

The user-friendly software interface from Park provides users with the flexibility to create recipes so the full power of the Park NX-HDM can be accessed by the user to obtain the measurements they require.

It is easy to create new recipes. It takes approximately 10 minutes to create a new routine from scratch, and less than 5 minutes to modify an existing one.

Park NX-HDM provides:

  • Manual, auto, and semi-auto modes for complete control
  • Editable measurement method for each automated routine
  • Live monitoring of the measurement process
  • Automatic analysis of acquired measurement data.

Closed-loop XY Scan with Dual Servo System


Two symmetric, low-noise position sensors are integrated on each axis of the XY scanner to preserve high scan orthogonality for the largest scan ranges and sample sizes. The secondary sensor corrects and compensates for non-planar and non-linear positional errors caused by just one sensor alone.

High Speed Z Scanner with 15 µm Scan Range


Driven by a high-force piezoelectric stack and guided by a flexure structure, the standard Z scanner has a high resonant frequency of over 9 kHz (typically 10.5 kHz) and a Z-servo speed of more than 48 mm/s tip velocity which enables accurate feedback. The maximum Z scan range can be broadened from 15 to 40 µm with the optional long scan range Z scanner.

Low Noise XYZ Position Sensors


The industry’s top low noise Z detector replaces the applied Z voltage as the Topography signal. Also, the low noise XY closed loop scan reduces the forward and backward scan gap to be less than 0.15% of the scan range.

2D Flexure-Guided Scanner with 100 x 100 µm Scan Range


The XY scanner comprises of symmetrical 2D flexure and high-force piezoelectric stacks that offer high orthogonal movement with little out-of-plane motion as well as a high responsiveness vital for precise sample scanning in the nanometer scale.

Industry's Lowest Noise Floor


To detect the smallest sample features and image the flattest surfaces, Park Systems has designed instruments that achieve the industry’s lowest noise floor specification of <0.5 Å. Noise floor data is established using a “zero scan”. With the cantilever contacting the sample surface, the system noise can be measured at a single point under the following conditions:

  • 256 x 256 pixels
  • 0.5 gain, in contact mode
  • 0 nm x 0 nm scan, staying in one point


Automatic Measurement Control

The automated software makes the Park NX-HDM operation effortless. Measurement recipes provide multi-site analysis with optimized settings for cantilever tuning, gain, scan rate and set point parameters. The system software for automation performs the sample measurement using a preset procedure written in a recipe file.

The user-friendly software interface from Park provides operators with the flexibility to perform various system-wide functions. It takes about 10 minutes to prepare a new recipe from scratch, or less than 5 minutes to modify an existing recipe.

The Park NX-HDM offers these capabilities:

  • Manual, semi-auto and auto mode
  • Automatic analysis of obtained measurement data
  • Editable measurement technique for all automated procedures
  • Live monitoring of the measurement process


Ionization System

The ionization system effectively eliminates electrostatic charges. It ionizes the charged objects and is highly reliable as the system constantly generates and maintains a perfect balance of positive and negative ions without causing contamination to the immediate area. It also reduces the accidental electrostatic built-in charge that could happen during sample handling.



The main specifications of the Park HDM series are as follows:

System Specification
Motorized XY stage Travels up to 150 mm × 150 mm, 2 µm repeatability
Motorized Z stage 25 mm Z travel distance
0.1 µm resolution, < 1 µm repeatability
Motorized Focus Stage 15 mm Z travel distance for on-axis optics
Sample Thickness Allowance Up to 20 mm
Full scan range Z run-out < 2 nm
COGNEX Pattern Recognition Pattern align resolution of 1/4 pixel
Scanner Performances
XY Scanner Range 100 µm × 100 µm
XY Scanner Resolution 0.095 nm (20 bit position control)
Z Scanner Range 15 µm
Z Scanner Resolution 0.01 nm
AFM and XY Stage Control Electronics
ADC 18 channels
4 high-speed ADC channels (64 MSPS)
24-bit ADCs for X,Y and Z scanner position sensor
DAC 12 channels
2 high-speed DAC channels (64 MSPS)
20-bit DACs for X,Y and Z scanner positioning
Maximun Scan Size 4096 x 4096 pixels
Vibration, Acoustic Noise, and ESD Performances
Floor Vibration < 0.5 µm/s (10 Hz to 200 Hz w/ Active Vibration Isolation System)
Acoustic Noise >20 dB attenuation w/ Acoustic Enclosure
Facility Requirements
Room Temperature (Stand By) 10 °C ~ 40 °C
Room Temperature (Operating) 18 °C ~ 24 °C
Humidity 30% to 60% (not condensing)
Floor Vibration Level VC-E (3 µm/sec)
Acoustic Noise Below 65 dB
Pneumatics Vacuum : -60 kPa
Power Supply Rating 100/120 V/ 208~240 V, single phase, 15 A (max)
Total Power Consumption 2 KW (typical)
Ground Resistance Below 100 ohms
Dimensions in mm & Weight in kg
Acoustic Enclosure 880 mm (w) × 980 mm (d) × 1460 mm (h)
620 kg approx. (incl. basic Park NX-HDM System)
Control Cabinet 600 mm (w) × 900 mm (d) × 1600 mm (h)
170 kg approx. (incl. controllers)
System Floor Space 1720 mm (w) × 920 mm (d)
Ceiling Height 2000 mm or more
Operator Working Space 2400 mm (w) × 2450 mm (d), minimum

[ Park NX-HDM system dimension ] / [ Park NX-HDM installation layout ]

Park NX-HDM system dimension / Park NX-HDM installation layout

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