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Simultaneous AFM nano-patterning and imaging for photomask repair

Author: Keyvani, A. · Tamer, M.S. · Es, M.H. van · Sadeghian Marnani, H.
Publisher: SPIE
Source:Sanchez, M.I.Ukraintsev, V.A., 30th Conference on Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography, 22-25 February 2016, 9778
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Identifier: 546178
ISBN: 9781510600133
Article number: 977818
Keywords: Electronics · AFM · Nano-Machining · Nano-Scribing · Photomask Repair · Tip-sample interactions · Atomic force microscopy · Photomasks · Repair · Units of measurement · Excitation frequency · High resolution · Imaging process · Nano-Scribing · Nanomachining · NanoPatterning · Photomask repair · Tip-sample interaction · Process control · Nano Technology · OM - Opto-Mechatronics · TS - Technical Sciences


In this paper we present a new AFM based nano-patterning technique that can be used for fast defect repairing of high resolution photomasks and possibly other high-speed nano-patterning applications. The proposed method works based on hammering the sample with tapping mode AFM followed by wet cleaning of the residuals. On the area where a specific pattern should be written, the tip-sample interaction force is tuned in a controlled manner by changing the excitation frequency of the cantilever without interrupting the imaging process. Using this method several patterns where transferred to different samples with imaging speed. While the pattern was transferred to the sample in each tracing scan line, the patterned sample was imaged in retracing scan line, thus the outcome was immediately visible during the experiment.