AFSEM™ - correlative in situ atomic force microscopy in electron and ion beam microscopes

E. Nelson
Nanosurf, inc.,
United States

Keywords: AFM, 3D construction, tomography


Recently, there has been increased interest in combining different microscopic and spectroscopic techniques in a single instrument due to the importance of simultaneous acquisition of complementary information. In addition, by introducing secondary microscopic techniques into a system, limitations in the primary instrument can be overcome. Electron microscopes (SEM), for example, have excellent lateral resolution but are ineffective at quantifying topographical information. Atomic force microscopes (AFM), on the other hand, have excellent height resolution but their lateral resolution is limited by the geometry of the probe. Combining these two techniques in a single instrument creates a microscope with excellent lateral and topographical resolution and allows collection of additional information such as phase imaging, force spectroscopy, and electrical methods in an SEM or correlation of chemical mapping (Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, EDX) to real 3D topography. Here, we present a unique AFM – the AFSEM™ – designed for seamless integration into SEM or Dual-beam (SEM/FIB) microscopes. We demonstrate results for in-situ electrical characterization of nanostructures by combining SEM and conductive AFSEM™ measurements. We demonstrate the suitability to study perform correlative analysis of the nanomechanics of freestanding 2D materials (graphene). In addition, we address the suitability of AFSEM™ for in-situ control of growth shapes and 3D reconstruction in bottom-up and top-down nano fabrication (focused electron-beam-induced deposition, FEBID/ focused ion beam, FIB). Finally, we show applications how the AFSEM™ can be used in combination with FIB for subtractive tomography – 3D reconstruction of the local stiffness.