Calibrating scanning probe microscopes
The invention of the scanning tunnelling microscope (STM) by Binnig et al., (1981, 1983) has opened up new and exciting research areas for scientists particularly those working within the area of fundamental metrology. The prospect of length measurements effected through the counting of atoms has given inspiration to new and exiting applications of scanning probe microscopes (SPMs) within metrology. The SPM technique may be used as a high precision technique to measure objects invisible or inaccessible through optical methods, and this makes the technique vital for the semiconductor and data storage industry, where the critical dimensions are getting smaller than the wavelength of light. The ability to calculate the number of atoms in a cube simply by counting the number of surface atoms using an STM, has raised the possibility of the realization of a new, more objective and stable mass standard. Such an “artefact” based on single crystals with well-known lattice constants clearly would be of considerable scientific and commercial value.
KeywordsScanning Tunnelling Microscope Step Height Highly Orient Pyrolytic Graphite Uncertainty Budget Angular Distortion
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