Fine Scanning Or Positioning (epo) Patents (Class 850/3)
  • Patent number: 9891418
    Abstract: The invention relates to an apparatus and a method for imaging surface area of a sample having a surface topography with the aid of confocal microscopy, such as confocal Raman and/or fluorescence microscopy. The apparatus comprises a surface topography sensor that provides values for the surface topography. The surface topography values allow for the surface to be maintained in the confocal plane during scanning.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2018
    Assignee: WITEC Wissenschaftliche Instrumente Und Technologie GMBH
    Inventors: Peter Spizig, Wofram Ibach, Detlef Sanchen, Gerhard Volswinkler, Olaf Hollricher
  • Patent number: 9043946
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a method for measuring the near-field signal of a sample in a scattering type near-field microscope and to a device for conducting said method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: Neaspec GmbH
    Inventor: Nenad Ocelic
  • Patent number: 8973161
    Abstract: A control-based approach is provided for achieving accurate indentation quantification in broadband and in-liquid nanomechanical property measurements using atomic force microscope (AFM). Accurate indentation measurement is desirable for probe-based material property characterization because the force applied and the indentation generated are the fundamental physical variables that are measured in the characterization process. Large measurement errors, however, occur when the measurement frequency range becomes large (i.e., broadband), or the indentation is measured in liquid on soft materials. Such large measurement errors are generated due to the inability of the conventional method to account for the convolution of the instrument dynamics with the viscoelastic response of the soft sample when the measurement frequency becomes large, and the random-like thermal drift and the distributive hydrodynamic force effects when measuring the indentation in liquid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 3, 2015
    Assignee: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
    Inventors: Qingze Zou, Juan Ren
  • Publication number: 20140380531
    Abstract: A method for testing an integrated circuit (IC) using a nanoprobe, by using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) to register the nanoprobe to an identified feature on the IC; navigating the nanoprobe to a region of interest; scanning the nanoprobe over the surface of the IC while reading data from the nanoprobe; when the data from the nanoprobe indicates that the nanoprobe traverse a feature of interest, decelerating the scanning speed of the nanoprobe and performing testing of the IC. The scanning can be done at a prescribed nanoprobe tip force, and during the step of decelerating the scanning speed, the method further includes increasing the nanoprobe tip force.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 24, 2014
    Publication date: December 25, 2014
    Inventors: Vladimir A. Ukraintsev, Richard Stallcup, Sergiy Pryadkin, Mike Berkmyre, John Sanders
  • Patent number: 8904560
    Abstract: A method of operating a metrology instrument includes generating relative motion between a probe and a sample at a scan frequency using an actuator. The method also includes detecting motion of the actuator using a position sensor that exhibits noise in the detected motion, and controlling the position of the actuator using a feedback loop and a feed forward algorithm. In this embodiment, the controlling step attenuates noise in the actuator position compared to noise exhibited by the position sensor over the scan bandwidth. Scan frequencies up to a third of the first scanner resonance frequency or greater than 300 Hz are possible.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2014
    Assignee: Bruker Nano, Inc.
    Inventors: Jian Shi, Chanmin Su, Craig Prater, Ji Ma
  • Patent number: 8895923
    Abstract: A system for performing sample probing. The system including an topography microscope configured to receive three-dimensional coordinates for a sample based on at least three fiducial marks; receive the sample mounted in a holder; and navigate to at least a location on the sample based on the at least three fiducial marks and the three-dimensional coordinates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2014
    Assignee: DCG Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Vladimir A. Ukraintsev, Richard Stallcup, Sergiy Pryadkin, Mike Berkmyre, John Sanders
  • Publication number: 20140317789
    Abstract: The invention relates to a control method having at least two control loops for a scanning microscope provided with a microlever and an actuator suitable for energizing the microlever, in which a first loop maintains as a controlled variable the oscillation amplitude of the microlever and as a manipulated variable the amplitude of the electric signal supplied to the actuator, and a second loop uses as a controlled variable the amplitude of the aforementioned electric signal and as a manipulated variable the tip-sample distance. Said procedure makes it possible to ignore changes of sign in the tip-sample interaction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 10, 2012
    Publication date: October 23, 2014
    Inventors: David Martinez Martin, Miriam Jaafar Ruiz-Castellanos, Julio Gomez Herrero
  • Patent number: 8860260
    Abstract: A system contains a first actuator half containing a first pair of actuator coils and a second pair of actuator coils located above the first pair of actuator coils, wherein the first pair of actuator coils is connected to a first metallic backing. A second actuator half is also providing within the system, which contains a first pair of actuator coils and a second pair of actuator coils located above the first pair of actuator coils, wherein the first pair of actuator coils is connected to a second metallic backing. The system also contains a mechanical flexure suspension having at least one flexure supporting a permanent magnet that is capable of moving, wherein the mechanical flexure suspension is located between the first actuator half and the second actuator half.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 14, 2014
    Assignee: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Inventors: David L. Trumper, Ian MacKenzie
  • Patent number: 8844061
    Abstract: In the case of measuring a pattern having a steep side wall, a probe adheres to the side wall by the van der Waals forces acting between the probe and the side wall when approaching the pattern side wall, and an error occurs in a measured profile of the side wall portion. When a pattern having a groove width almost equal to a probe diameter is measured, the probe adheres to both side walls, the probe cannot reach the groove bottom, and the groove depth cannot be measured. When the probe adheres to a pattern side wall in measurements of a microscopic high-aspect ratio pattern using an elongated probe, the probe is caused to reach the side wall bottom by detecting the adhesion of the probe to the pattern side wall, and temporarily increasing a contact force between the probe and the sample. Also, by obtaining the data of the amount of torsion of a cantilever with the shape data of the pattern, a profile error of the side wall portion by the adhesion is corrected by the obtained data of the amount of torsion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 26, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2014
    Assignee: HITACHI, Ltd.
    Inventors: Shuichi Baba, Masahiro Watanabe, Toshihiko Nakata, Yukio Kembo, Toru Kurenuma, Takafumi Morimoto, Manabu Edamura, Satoshi Sekino
  • Patent number: 8832859
    Abstract: A probe alignment tool (10) for scanning probe microscopes utilizes an attached relay optics to view the scanning probe microscope probe tip (40) and align its image in the center of the field of view of an optical microscope (36). Adjustments to optical microscope motorized stages (50) and (60) along with adjustments of scanning probe microscope stages (44), (46) and (58) allow determination of a path and distance from the center of the field of view to the probe tip (40). From such determination a target area to be examined by the scanning probe microscope may be positioned precisely and accurately under the probe tip (40). Replacement of a scanning probe microscope probe tip (40) in an atomic force microscope unit (42) may be accomplished without the loss of alignment measurements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2014
    Inventor: Ali R. Afshari
  • Patent number: 8739311
    Abstract: A new method in microscopy is provided which extends the domain of AFM's to nanoscale spectroscopy. Molecular resonance of nanometer features can be detected and imaged purely by mechanical detection of the force gradient between the interaction of the optically driven molecular dipole/multipole and its mirror image in a Platinum coated scanning probe tip. The method is extendable to obtain nanoscale spectroscopic information ranging from infrared to UV and RF.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2014
    Inventors: H. Kumar Wickramasinghe, Indrajith Rajapaksa
  • Patent number: 8732861
    Abstract: A control system 32, 75 is for use with a scanning probe microscope of a type in which measurement data is collected at positions within a scan pattern described as a probe and sample are moved relative to each other. The control system is used in conjunction with a position detection system 34 that measures the position of at least one of the probe and sample such that their relative spatial location (x, y) is determined. Measurement data may then be correlated with empirically-determined spatial locations in constructing an image. The use of empirical location data means that image quality is not limited by the ability of a microscope scanning system to control mechanically the relative location of probe and sample.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2014
    Assignee: Infinitesima Ltd.
    Inventors: Andrew Humphris, David Catto
  • Patent number: 8689358
    Abstract: An apparatus is provided and includes a cantilever having a tip at a distal end thereof disposed with the tip positioned an initial distance from a sample and a circuit electrically coupled to a substrate on which the sample is layered and the cantilever to simultaneously apply direct and alternating currents to deflect the cantilever and to cause the tip to oscillate about a point at a second distance from the sample, which is shorter than the initial distance, between first positions, at which the tip contacts the sample, and second positions, at which the tip is displaced from the sample.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2014
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Venkataraman Kartik, Charalampos Pozidis, Deepak R. Sahoo, Abu Sebastian
  • Patent number: 8677511
    Abstract: The present disclosure describes an apparatus of leveling a substrate in a charged particle lithography system. In an example, the apparatus includes a cantilever-based sensor that includes an optical sensor and a cantilever structure. The optical sensor determines a distance between the optical sensor and a surface of the substrate based on light reflected from the cantilever structure. In an example, a first distance is between the cantilever structure and optical sensor, a second distance is a height of the cantilever structure, and a third distance is between the optical sensor and the surface of the substrate. The optical sensor determines the first distance based on the light reflected from the cantilever structure, such that the third distance is determined from the first distance and the second distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2014
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Shih-Chi Wang, Jeng-Horng Chen
  • Patent number: 8656509
    Abstract: It has been difficult to highly accurately measure the profiles of samples using scanning probe microscopes at the time when scanning is performed due to scanning mechanism fluctuations in the non drive direction, i.e., vertical direction. The present invention is provided with, on the rear side of a sample stage, a high-accuracy displacement gauge for measuring fluctuation in the non drive direction, i.e., vertical direction, at the time when the sample stage is being scanned in the horizontal directions, and as a result, highly accurate planarity evaluation with accuracy of sample nm-order or less is made possible by correcting sample surface shape measurement results obtained using a probe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2014
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Masahiro Watanabe, Toshihiko Nakata, Takehiro Tachizaki
  • Patent number: 8650661
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are provided of characterizing a re-entrant SPM probe tip (30) through a single scan of a characterizer, thus dramatically increasing throughput, accuracy, and repeatability when compared to prior known tip characterization techniques. The characterizer also preferably is one whose dimensions can be known with a high level of certainty in order to maximize characterization accuracy. These dimensions are also preferably very stable or, if unstable, change catastrophically rather than in a manner that is difficult or impossible to detect. A carbon nanotube (CNT), preferably a single walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT), has been found to be well-suited for this purpose. Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) (130) and other structures may also suffice for this purpose. Also provided are a method and apparatus for monitoring the integrity of a CNT.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 11, 2014
    Assignee: Bruker Nano, Inc.
    Inventors: Gregory A. Dahlen, Hao-chih Liu
  • Publication number: 20140026263
    Abstract: A scanning probe microscope comprising a probe that is mechanically responsive to a driving force. A signal generator provides a drive signal to an actuator that generates the driving force, the drive signal being such as to cause the actuator to move the probe repeatedly towards and away from a sample. A detection system is arranged to output a height signal indicative of a path difference between light reflected from the probe and a height reference beam. Image processing apparatus is arranged to use the height signal to form an image of the sample. Signal processing apparatus is arranged to monitor the probe as the probe approaches a sample and to detect a surface position at which the probe interacts with the sample. In response to detection of the surface position, the signal processing apparatus prompts the signal generator to modify the drive signal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 31, 2012
    Publication date: January 23, 2014
    Applicant: Infinitesima Limited
    Inventor: Andrew Humphris
  • Publication number: 20140007307
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method of preparing and imaging a sample using a particle-optical apparatus, equipped with an electron column and an ion beam column, a camera system, a manipulator. The method comprising comprises the steps of deriving a first ptychographic image of the sample from a first electron image, thinning the sample, and forming a second ptychographic image of the sample. In an embodiment of the invention the seed image used for the second image is the first ptychografic image. In another embodiment the second ptychographic image is the image of the layer removed during the thinning. In another embodiment the inner potential of the sample is determined and dopant concentrations are determined.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 17, 2013
    Publication date: January 2, 2014
    Inventors: Brian Roberts Routh, JR., Peter Christiaan Tiemeijer, Bart Jozef Janssen, Thomas G. Miller, David Foord, Ivan Lazic
  • Patent number: 8528110
    Abstract: A probe detection system (74) for use with a scanning probe microscope comprises both a height detection system (88) and deflection detection system (28). As a sample surface is scanned, light reflected from a microscope probe (16) is separated into two components. A first component (84) is analysed by the deflection detection system (28) and is used in a feedback system that maintains the average probe deflection substantially constant during the scan. The second component (86) is analysed by the height detection system (88) from which an indication of the height of the probe above a fixed reference point, and thereby an image of the sample surface, is obtained. Such a dual detection system is particularly suited for use in fast scanning applications in which the feedback system is unable to respond at the rate required to adjust probe height between pixel positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2013
    Assignee: Infinitesima Ltd.
    Inventor: Andrew Humphris
  • Patent number: 8499360
    Abstract: Atomic force microscopes and methods of measuring specimens using the same. An atomic force microscope may precisely measure a 3D shape of a specimen using both a short-stroke scanner and a long-stroke scanner. The atomic force microscope may include a stage to transfer a specimen, at least one cantilever which includes a probe such that a driving displacement and a driving frequency are changed by attractive force and repulsive force in relation to atoms of the specimen, at least one short-stroke scanner which includes the cantilever so as to perform short-stroke scanning of the specimen, at least one long-stroke scanner which includes the short-stroke scanner so as to perform long-stroke scanning of the specimen, and at least one coarse approach system for transferring the short-stroke scanner and the long-stroke scanner to the specimen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2013
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd
    Inventor: Yonmook Park
  • Patent number: 8495761
    Abstract: According to one embodiment, a planar positioning device includes a first actuator displaceable in a first axis direction, a second actuator displaceable in a second axis direction perpendicular to the first axis, a first displacement magnifying mechanism configured to magnify a displacement of the first actuator, a second displacement magnifying mechanism configured to magnify a displacement of the second actuator, a stage arranged in a plane, a first drive support mechanism including a parallel link connected between the first displacement magnifying mechanism and the stage to transmit the magnified displacement in the first-axis direction to the stage, a second drive support mechanism including a parallel link connected between the second displacement magnifying mechanism and the stage to transmit the magnified displacement in the second-axis direction to the stage, and a stabilizing support mechanism configured to apply tensions in the first-axis direction and the second-axis direction to the stage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2013
    Assignee: Akita Prefecture
    Inventors: Yotsugi Shibuya, Shigeki Mori, Kazuto Miyawaki, Akihiro Naganawa
  • Patent number: 8424111
    Abstract: Provided is a scanning near-field optical microscope capable of obtaining, in a highly sensitive manner, optical information having a spatial frequency higher than a spatial frequency corresponding to a wavelength of irradiation light. A scanning near-field optical microscope 100 according to the present invention includes: a light irradiating part 102 for emitting illumination light toward a sample 107; a light receiving part 112 for receiving light; a microstructure for generating or selectively transmitting near-field light, the microstructure being disposed on at least one of an emission side of the light irradiating part 102 and an incident side of the light receiving part 112; and an ultrahigh-wavenumber transmitting medium 108 for transmitting near-field light, the ultrahigh-wavenumber transmitting medium exhibiting anisotropy in permittivity or permeability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2013
    Assignees: Olympus Corporation, The University of Tokyo
    Inventors: Koichi Karaki, Kimihiko Nishioka, Yasuo Sasaki, Takuya Tsukagoshi, Yoshiharu Ajiki, Isao Shimoyama, Kiyoshi Matsumoto, Tetsuro Kan, Yusuke Takei, Kentaro Noda
  • Patent number: 8402561
    Abstract: An electro-thermal actuator which includes a unit cell comprising at least one thermal bimorph, the thermal bimorph comprising at least two materials of different thermal expansion coefficient bonded together, the unit cell having a first end and a second end; and at least one temperature sensor located on the at least one thermal bimorph for measuring a temperature of the at least one thermal bimorph and determining a position of the unit cell. The basic structure can be expanded to 1-D, 2-D and 3-D positioners. The bimorphs can also be coupled to an active yoke which is in turn anchored to a plate, in order to reduce the parasitic heat effects on displacement of the tip of the bimorph.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2013
    Assignee: ICSPI Corp.
    Inventor: Niladri Sarkar
  • Patent number: 8397311
    Abstract: A metrology probe capable of measurements of a broad range of physical properties of individual samples of nano- or sub-nanometer dimensions is provided. The probe comprises a probe body, a substrate connected to the probe body, and a tip proximate the substrate. The probe further comprises a coarse piezoelectric actuator having an electrical input. The coarse piezo is configured to cause the tip and/or the substrate to move relative to each other when a first electrical signal is provided to the electrical input. The probe further comprises a low-pass filter in electrical communication with the electrical input of the coarse piezo. The probe further comprises a fine piezoelectric actuator having an electrical input configured to cause the tip and/or the substrate to move relative to each other when a second electrical signal is provided to the electrical input.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2013
    Assignee: The Research Foundation of State University of New York
    Inventors: Harsh Deep Chopra, Jason N. Armstrong, Zonglu Hua
  • Patent number: 8387159
    Abstract: The present invention provides a fast-operating and stable scanning probe microscope configured to detect the interaction between a probe and a sample to avoid generation of a harmonic component. An oscillation circuit (31) generates an excitation phase signal indicative of the phase of an excitation signal. An excitation signal generation circuit (33) generates an excitation signal from the excitation phase signal. A complex signal generation circuit (35) generates a complex signal from a displacement signal. A vector calculation circuit (37) calculates the argument of the complex signal. A subtracting phase comparator (39) compares the argument with the phase of the excitation phase signal by subtraction. The amount of the interaction between a probe device and a sample is obtained using the subtracting phase comparator (39). The result of the comparison carried out by the subtracting phase comparator (39) may be output as a difference in phase between the displacement signal and the excitation signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2013
    Assignees: National University Corporation
    Inventors: Takeshi Fukuma, Yuji Mitani
  • Patent number: 8387158
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a method of rapidly and repeatably bringing sharp objects into close proximity to a particular region of interest of a sample with high precision and accuracy in two or three dimensions using a laser guided tip approach with three dimensional registration to the surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2013
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of Commerce, The National Institute of Standards and Technology
    Inventors: Thomas T Perkins, Gavin M King, Ashley R Carter
  • Patent number: 8381311
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method and to a device for examining a test sample using a scanning probe microscope. According to the method a first and a second measurement using a scanning probe microscope are carried out on the test sample using a measuring probe system in which a measuring probe and another measuring probe are formed on a common measuring probe receptacle. During the first measurement, in relation to the test sample, the measuring probe is held in a first measurement position and the other measuring probe is held in another non-measurement position, and the test sample is examined with the measuring probe using a scanning probe microscope. After the first measurement, by displacing in relation to the test sample, the measuring probe is displaced from the measurement position into a non-measurement position and the other measuring probe from the other non-measurement position into another measurement position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2013
    Assignee: JPK Instruments AG
    Inventor: Torsten Jähnke
  • Patent number: 8368017
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for operating a measurement system containing a scanning probe microscope, in particular an atomic force microscope, and to a measurement system for examining a measurement sample using a scanning probe microscope and for optically examining said sample.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2013
    Assignee: JPK Instruments AG
    Inventors: Torsten Jahnke, Michael Richard Haggerty
  • Patent number: 8358039
    Abstract: A system contains a first actuator half containing a first pair of actuator coils and a second pair of actuator coils located above the first pair of actuator coils, wherein the first pair of actuator coils is connected to a first metallic backing. A second actuator half is also providing within the system, which contains a first pair of actuator coils and a second pair of actuator coils located above the first pair of actuator coils, wherein the first pair of actuator coils is connected to a second metallic backing. The system also contains a mechanical flexure suspension having at least one flexure supporting a permanent magnet that is capable of moving, wherein the mechanical flexure suspension is located between the first actuator half and the second actuator half.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2013
    Assignee: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Inventors: David L. Trumper, Ian MacKenzie
  • Patent number: 8347409
    Abstract: A method includes generating, using a sensor, a data signal. The data signal includes a first component based on a motion in a first direction of an actuator configured to provide motion between a sample and a probe in the first direction, the first direction substantially in the plane of the sample; and a second component based on at least one of topographic variations of the sample in a second direction, and a materials property of the sample. The method further includes generating, using a processor, a compensatory signal based on the first component of the data signal generated by the sensor; and providing the compensatory signal to the actuator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Assignee: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Daniel James Burns, Georg Ernest Fantner, Kamal Youcef-Toumi
  • Patent number: 8321960
    Abstract: A portion of light emitted from a laser source (11) for detecting a displacement of a cantilever (4) is extracted by a half mirror (20) and guided onto a photodetector (21) having a light-receiving surface divided into four sections. When the direction of the emitted light is inclined due to a change in the ambient temperature or other factors, the light spot formed on the light-receiving surface of the photodetector (21) moves. Accordingly, the amount and direction of the inclination of the emission direction can be recognized from the amount and direction of the movement of the light spot. A drive amount calculator (22) calculates a drive amount according to the amount and direction of the inclination, and operates an actuator (23) to rotate the laser source (11) around each of the Y and Z axes. This operation compensates for the inclination of the direction of the emitted light and thereby prevents the inclination from being falsely recognized as an irregularity on the sample surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2012
    Assignee: Shimadzu Corporation
    Inventor: Takeshi Ito
  • Patent number: 8250667
    Abstract: A method, system, device, and software for automatically determining PI feedback parameters in a scanning probe microscopy application setup using an iterative feedback tuning process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2012
    Assignee: Nanofactory Instruments AB
    Inventors: Krister Svensson, Paul Bengtsson, Simon J. Altenburg
  • Patent number: 8245316
    Abstract: The scanning probe microscope applies a sum of an AC voltage (Uac) and a DC voltage (Udc) to its probe. The frequency of the AC voltage (Uac) substantially corresponds to the mechanical oscillation frequency of the probe, but its phase in respect to the mechanical oscillation varies periodically. The phase modulation has a frequency fmod. The microscope measures the frequency (f) or the amplitude (K) of a master signal (S) applied to the probe's actuator, or it measures the phase of the mechanical oscillation of the cantilever in respect to the master signal (S). The spectral component at frequency fmod of the measured signal is fed to a feedback loop controller, which strives to keep it zero by adjusting the DC voltage (Udc), thereby keeping the DC voltage at the contact voltage potential.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2012
    Assignee: Specs Zürich GmbH
    Inventor: Jörg Rychen
  • Patent number: 8209768
    Abstract: A method of manufacturing an SPM probe having a support element, a cantilever, and a scanning tip on an underside of the cantilever, and having a mark located on the top side of the cantilever opposite the scanning tip. The mark on the top side of the cantilever is located exactly opposite the scanning tip on the underside of the cantilever. This makes it possible to identify the exact position of the scanning tip in the scanning probe microscope from the upward-pointing top side of the cantilever, which significantly simplifies the alignment of the SPM probe. The support element with the cantilever may be prefabricated conventionally and the scanning tip and the mark are then produced on the cantilever in a self-aligning way by means of a particle-beam-induced material deposition based on a gas-induced process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2012
    Assignee: NanoWorld AG
    Inventors: Thomas Sulzbach, Oliver Krause, Mathieu Burri, Manfred Detterbeck, Bernd Irmer, Christian Penzkofer
  • Patent number: 8209767
    Abstract: An optical metrology tool may include a source of electromagnetic radiation having a characteristic wavelength, an objective having a central obscuration, a near field element located within the central obscuration of the objective, and an electromagnetic radiation detector coupled to the near field element. A mechanism is configured to bring the near field element into proximity to the target. A characteristic dimension of the near field element is sufficient smaller than the wavelength of the electromagnetic radiation that when the electromagnetic radiation passes through the cavity and the cavity is in sufficient proximity to the target that evanescent waves can couple energy from propagating radiation in the near-field element to the target. The detector detects an optical signal due to the evanescent waves coupling to the target.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2012
    Assignee: KLA-Tencor Corporation
    Inventor: Amnon Manassen
  • Patent number: 8209766
    Abstract: A scanning probe microscope tilts the scanning direction of a z-scanner by a precise amount and with high repeatability using a movable assembly that rotates the scanning direction of the z-scanner with respect to the sample plane. The movable assembly is moved along a curved guide by a rack-and-pinion drive system and has grooves that engage with corresponding ceramic balls formed on a stationary frame to precisely position the movable assembly at predefined locations along the curved guide. The grooves are urged against the ceramic balls via a spring force and, prior to movement of the movable assembly, a pneumatic force is applied to overcome the spring force and disengage the grooves from the ceramic balls.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2012
    Assignee: Park Systems Corp.
    Inventors: Sang-il Park, Sang Han Chung, Byoung-Woon Ahn
  • Patent number: 8205268
    Abstract: Improved actuation device useful in direct-write nanolithography and imaging including use of a pivot point for downward deflection of a cantilever with long travel path. A device comprising at least one holder, at least one cantilever, an extension of the said cantilever wherein the extension is integrated with an actuator, wherein the cantilever is adapted for actuated movement. The actuator can be electrostatic, thermal, or piezoelectric. The cantilever can comprise a tip, and material can be transferred from the tip to a surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2012
    Assignee: NanoInk, Inc.
    Inventor: Raymond Roger Shile
  • Patent number: 8161568
    Abstract: A cantilever has a probe portion and a cantilever portion having a free end portion from which the probe portion extends. A displacement detecting portion detects a displacement of the cantilever portion according to an interaction between a sample and the probe portion. An electrode portion is connected to the displacement detecting portion. An insulation film is formed over at least one of the electrode portion and the displacement detecting portion. A functional coating in the form one of a conductive film, a magnetic film, and a film having a light intensity amplifying effect is disposed on the insulation film.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2012
    Assignee: SII NanoTechnology Inc.
    Inventors: Masato Iyoki, Naoya Watanabe
  • Patent number: 8141168
    Abstract: A main object of the present claimed invention is to provide a scanning probe microscope that can recognize a relative position between multiple probes accurately.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2012
    Assignees: National Institute for Materials Science, Horiba, Ltd.
    Inventors: Tomonobu Nakayama, Seiji Higuchi
  • Patent number: 8099792
    Abstract: Atomic force photovoltaic microscopy apparatus and related methodologies, as can be used to quantitatively measure spatial performance variations in functioning photovoltaic devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 17, 2012
    Assignees: Northwestern University, The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Air Force
    Inventors: Mark C. Hersam, Benjamin Leever
  • Patent number: 8089053
    Abstract: The present invention relates to double-tilt specimen holders of the side-entry type for transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The invention uses Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) and Piezoelectric Transducer (PZT) technology to create a digitally programmable dynamically tilting specimen holder integrated into a standard transmission electron microscope stage. In this invention, specimens can be tilted using a MEMS/PZT-actuated specimen holder to between 10 and 25° for stereo pairs and at higher angles (up to 90°) for tomography applications. In one embodiment, the specimen cradle may be effectively rotated 360° about the Y axis, enabling virtually the complete three-dimensional mapping of a specimen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2012
    Inventor: Dudley Sean Finch
  • Patent number: 8063383
    Abstract: We disclose a precision positioner based on an inertial actuator, an optical instrument for accurate positional readout and control, and an electrostatically clamped assembly for holding any instrument or device. All aspects of the present invention present a significant improvement over the prior art: a positioner is robust and compact; an optical instrument for positional control is a profoundly simple and compact module; a clamping assembly is self-aligning and suitable for robotic hot-swapping of objects being positioned.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2011
    Inventors: Sergiy Pryadkin, Dmitri Simonian
  • Patent number: 8001831
    Abstract: There is provided a scanning probe microscope employing a positioning apparatus M1 including a unit to be driven in XY direction having a substantially square form in plane geometry at the center of the plane in the XY directions and having a first elastic support that bends in the X-axis direction at least on one side of the square form and a second elastic support that bends in the Y-axis direction at least on one side orthogonal to the side and a support unit that supports a stage unit 1 in the XY directions such that the facing surface can face in parallel against the facing surface of the unit to be driven in the XY directions. The positioning apparatus has a space of a predetermined thickness between the surface corresponding to the unit to be driven in the XY directions at least and the facing surface of the support unit that faces against it, and the space is filled with a viscosity agent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2011
    Assignee: SII Nano Technology Inc.
    Inventors: Masafumi Watanabe, Masatoshi Yasutake
  • Patent number: 8006315
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an indirect-gap semiconductor substrate, the gap being greater than that of silicon and preferably greater than 1.5 eV, to its use for imaging a specimen by photon-emission scanning tunnel microscopy, and to a photon-emission scanning tunnel imaging method using such an indirect-gap semiconductor substrate. Advantageously, the indirect-gap semiconductor substrate is made of silicon carbide. The present invention also relates to devices for implementing the imaging method according to the invention.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2011
    Assignees: Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique, Universite Paris SUD (Paris II)
    Inventors: Fabrice Charra, Matthieu Silly, Patrick Soukiassian
  • Patent number: 7891016
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are an automatic landing method for a scanning probe microscope and an automatic landing apparatus using the same. The method comprises irradiating light to a cantilever using a light source; collecting interference fringes generated by the light being diffracted from the edge of the cantilever and then being incident to a surface of the sample; driving the tip in the sample direction until the pattern of the interference fringes reaches a predetermined pattern region (first driving); and driving the tip in the sample direction after the interference fringe pattern reached the predetermined pattern region (second driving). The method in accordance with the present invention is very effective particularly for samples having a large surface area, because it enables automatic landing of a tip according to recognition and selection of an optimal time point for individual landing steps, irrespective of adverse changes in landing conditions, such as surface irregularities of samples.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2011
    Assignee: IUCF HYU (Industry-University Cooperation Foundation Hanyang University
    Inventors: Haiwon Lee, Chung Choo Chung, Cheolsu Han
  • Patent number: 7891015
    Abstract: An actuator subsystem for use in a scanning probe microscope (SPM) system having a probe for measuring a sample comprises and actuator and an actuator driving circuit. The actuator operates in the SPM system to generate relative motion between the probe and the sample while the SPM system collects data indicative of a property of the sample. The relative motion includes a range of motion of at least 1 micron. The actuator driving circuit applies a drive signal to the actuator to cause the relative motion, and has a small signal bandwidth of at least 200 kHz with a phase lag of not more than 100 degrees within the small signal bandwidth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2011
    Assignee: Bruker Nano, Inc.
    Inventor: William I. Russell
  • Publication number: 20110035848
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a method of rapidly and repeatably bringing sharp objects into close proximity to a particular region of interest of a sample with high precision and accuracy in two or three dimensions using a laser guided tip approach with three dimensional registration to the surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 5, 2010
    Publication date: February 10, 2011
    Inventors: Thomas T. Perkins, Gavin M. King, Ashley R. Carter
  • Publication number: 20110016592
    Abstract: A method, system, device, and software for automatically determining PI feedback parameters in a scanning probe microscopy application setup using an iterative feedback tuning process.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 1, 2008
    Publication date: January 20, 2011
    Applicant: NANOFACTORY INSTRUMENTS AB
    Inventors: Krister Svensson, Paul Bengtsson
  • Patent number: 7849516
    Abstract: A method of scanning over a substrate includes implementing a write mode of the substrate by scanning a probe across a substrate, the probe having a spring cantilever probe mechanically fixed to a probe holding structure, a tip with a nanoscale apex, and an actuator for lateral positioning of the tip; the actuator comprising a thermally switchable element and a heating element for heating the thermally switchable element; and heating the heating element to a given temperature so as to locally soften a portion of the substrate and applying a force to the softened portion of the substrate through the tip so as to create one or more indentation marks in the softened portion of the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 7, 2010
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Gerd Binnig, Evangelos Elefheriou, Mark Lantz
  • Patent number: 7825378
    Abstract: A method for improving the resolution of STEM images of thick samples. In STEM, the diameter of the cross-over depends on the opening half-angle ? of the beam and can be as low as 0.1 nm. For optimum resolution an opening half-angle is chosen at which the diameter of the cross-over R(?) shows a minimum. For thick samples the resolution is, for those parts of the sample removed from the cross-over plane, limited by the convergence of the beam, resulting in a diameter D of the beam at the surface of the sample. The opening angle is chosen to balance the contribution of convergence and of diameter of the cross-over by choosing an opening half-angle smaller than the optimum opening half-angle. Effectively the sample is then scanned with a beam that has a substantially constant diameter over the length of the sample material through which the electrons have to travel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2010
    Assignee: FEI Company
    Inventors: Alevtyna Yakushevska, Erwan Sourty, Uwe Luecken, Bert Freitag