A tip is scanning the surface of a substrate. Surface roughness and step heights can be measured.
With an ellipsometer one can measure non-destructively the thickness of transparent layers. Linearly polarized light is radiated at an angle to the layer system where it is partly diffracted and partly reflected at each interface. The resulting reflection of the overall system, which is now polarized elliptically, contains information from all layers and the substrate. Using a model of the layer system the unknown layer parameters, usually the layer thicknesses, can then determined via a fitting procedure.
With the microspectrometer one can characterize the material properties of microscopically small samples. Absorption and transmission spectra of samples can be measured in transmission or reflection mode.
Optical microscopy is still the most important tool for process control and analysis. All information about the specimen is rendered visible by using modern digital image processing and optical polarization techniques.
Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) is a non-destructive method for surface analysis. X-ray radiation generated by the electron beam in the scanning electron microscope (SEM) is detected. Each chemical element is generating a characteristic X-ray radiation. Thus the elemental composition of a surface can be analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively. Mapping of the surface as well as line scans can be performed.
Scanning electron microscopes (SEM) are indispensable tools in todays nanotechnology and nanoanalysis laboratories. In a SEM a monoenergetic electron beam is scanned line-by-line over the sample. The energy absorbed by the sample induces severeal effects: Different kinds of electrons are generated through scattering events or ionization and X-ray radiation is emitted. The low energetic secondary electrons originating from these interactions are detected and a high-resolution image of the surface is obtained. Detection of the emitted X-rays, so called energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), also enables a chemical analysis of the sample.
A cold field emission cathode (CFEG) has, compared to e.g. a Schottky emitter, a lower energy spread and source size as well as a higher brightness. As a result of the extremely small beam diameter also at low accelerating voltages, ultra-high resolution imaging is achieved.
Atomic force microscopes are part of the family of scanning probe microscopes and scan the surface sample with the help of cantilevers. The topography is imaged laterally as well as horizontally. The cantilevers can be operated in contact or non-contact mode over the surface. Topography and phase images, force distance curves and lateral forces can be recorded.