Description of the publication:


Sikora, A.


The method of minimizing the impact of local residual electrostatic charge on dimensional measurement accuracy in atomic force microscopy measurements


Measurement Science and Technology




22 (9)









AFM; artifacts; atomic force microscopy; EFM; electrostatic forces; influence reduction


Atomic force microscopy is an accurate and reliable method of surface investigation with nanometer resolution. One must however take into account the influence of certain issues that can have significant impact on the result. Among a large number of the crucial factors which must be analyzed, the presence of additional forces acting on the scanning tip is a very important one. In a large group of observed interactions, the electrostatic force is able to introduce large errors in the result. In particular, when an electrostatic force microscopy method is utilized, the investigated structures can be biased. Therefore the presence of the electrostatic charge on the surface can be a significant source of problems. In this paper, the impact of the residual electrostatic force on the accuracy of the dimensional measurement of the structures is shown. A number of experiments show the distortions caused by unwanted forces acting on the cantilever during imaging of the surface. Several solutions to the problem are proposed.


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Example figure:

Combined 3D topography and surface potential image of the test sample. Varying bias voltage is visible.

Used methods:

Electrostatic Force Microscopy