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Sensors 2018, 18(1), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18010100

Atomic Force Microscopy Sidewall Imaging with a Quartz Tuning Fork Force Sensor

1
State Key Laboratory of Robotics and Systems, Harbin Institute of Technology, 2 Yikuang, Nangang District, Harbin 150080, China
2
Department of Mechatronics Engineering, National University of Science and Technology, H-12 Islamabad, Pakistan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 December 2017 / Revised: 24 December 2017 / Accepted: 27 December 2017 / Published: 1 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract

Sidewall roughness measurement is becoming increasingly important in the micro-electromechanical systems and nanoelectronics devices. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is an emerging technique for sidewall scanning and roughness measurement due to its high resolution, three-dimensional imaging capability and high accuracy. We report an AFM sidewall imaging method with a quartz tuning fork (QTF) force sensor. A self sensing and actuating force sensor is fabricated by microassembling a commercial AFM cantilever (tip apex radius ≤10 nm) to a QTF. The attached lightweight cantilever allows high-sensitivity force detection (7.4% Q factor reduction) and sidewall imaging with high lateral resolution. Owing to its unique configuration, the tip of the sensor can detect sidewall surface orthogonally during imaging, which reduces lateral friction. In experiments, sidewalls of a micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) structure fabricated by deep reactive ion etching process and a standard step grating are scanned and the sidewall roughness, line edge roughness and sidewall angles are measured. View Full-Text
Keywords: atomic force microscopy; sidewall; quartz tuning fork; cantilever atomic force microscopy; sidewall; quartz tuning fork; cantilever
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Hussain, D.; Wen, Y.; Zhang, H.; Song, J.; Xie, H. Atomic Force Microscopy Sidewall Imaging with a Quartz Tuning Fork Force Sensor. Sensors 2018, 18, 100.

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