A Closed-Loop Optical Scan Correction System for Scanning Probe Microscopes
Piezoelectric actuators are widely used for scanning probe microscopes (SPMs) because they are capable of motions that can be continuously subdivided down to atomic dimensions and smaller. These actuators have three serious drawbacks -- drift, hysteresis, and nonlinearity of displacement versus driving voltage -- that have limited the usefulness of scanning probe microscopes as metrology instruments capable of accurate dimensional measurements down to the nanometer level. This paper describes a novel optical method for measuring and actively controlling multiple translational degrees-offreedom at a single location in a scanning probe microscope using a folded retroreflector. Shot noise-limited resolution is shown to be less than 0.1 nm. This scanner was incorporated in a scanning probe microscope and its performance was characterized. Measured distortion is less than 1% over a 100 p.m x 100 p.m scan range. Lateral thermal drift is less than 0.45 µm per hour.
KeywordsPosition Sensor Piezoelectric Actuator Scanning Probe Microscope Corner Cube Position Error Signal
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