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Design of a scanning probe microscope with advanced sample treatment capabilities: An atomic force microscope combined with a miniaturized inductively coupled plasma source

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2 Author(s)
Hund, Markus ; Lehrstuhl für Physikalische Chemie II, Universität Bayreuth, Bayreuth 95440, Germany ; Herold, Hans

Your organization might have access to this article on the publisher's site. To check, click on this link:http://dx.doi.org/+10.1063/1.2742623 

We describe the design and performance of an atomic force microscope (AFM) combined with a miniaturized inductively coupled plasma source working at a radio frequency of 27.12 MHz. State-of-the-art scanning probe microscopes (SPMs) have limited in situ sample treatment capabilities. Aggressive treatments such as plasma etching or harsh treatments such as etching in aggressive liquids typically require the removal of the sample from the microscope. Consequently, time consuming procedures are required if the same sample spot has to be imaged after successive processing steps. We have developed a first prototype of a SPM which features a quasi in situ sample treatment using a modified commercial atomic force microscope. A sample holder is positioned in a special reactor chamber; the AFM tip can be retracted by several millimeters so that the chamber can be closed for a treatment procedure. Most importantly, after the treatment, the tip is moved back to the sample with a lateral drift per process step in the 20 nm regime. The performance of the prototype is characterized by consecutive plasma etching of a nanostructured polymer film.

Published in:

Review of Scientific Instruments  (Volume:78 ,  Issue: 6 )

Date of Publication:

Jun 2007

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