Carbon nanotube AFM probes for microlithography process control

Hao Chih Liu, David Fong, Gregory A. Dahlen, Marc Osborn, Sean Hand, Jason R. Osborne

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

19 Citations (Scopus)


The use of carbon nanotubes (CNT) as probes for atomic force microscopy (AFM) has been studied worldwide for more than a decade; however, the industries have not widely accepted CNT probes in their day-to-day operation. In this work, we present a series of studies on the metrology performance of CNT probes in semiconductor industry. A total of 54 CNT probes were studied for tip geometry, and 11 probes were tested on production wafers from a variety of IC manufacturers. Five out of the 11 probes were further evaluated for tip lifetime in semiconductor manufacturing environments. Statistical measurement data and tip shape characterization results provide insights on the applications of CNT probes in microlithography process control. The recent advancements in AFM scan algorithms that enable the control and use of CNT probes were also discussed in this paper. Sidewall measurement data using tilted CNT probes, and the AFM image of a CNT probe showing a comparable resolution to that of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were presented for the first time. The combination of advanced AFM system and CNT probes has proven to perform challenging metrology in 65 nm node and beyond.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMetrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XX
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jul 11
EventMetrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XX - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: 2006 Jan 202006 Jan 23

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume6152 II
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherMetrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XX
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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