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Probe selection in Force Volume/Contact Mode

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HarryC posted on Fri, Aug 20 2010 3:13 PM

Hello,

I am new to AFM and am trying to collect some mechanical property information on a sample of photoresist (has been developed, hardened)

I have a supply of SNL-10 probes which I believe would suit my needs for contact mode Force Imaging/Force Volume measurements.

This may be a silly question, but I don't know what precautions I need to take with a probe that has 4 cantilevers on it. Does it require a special holder? How are you able to preserve the other 4 tips while using one for analysis?

After that I have read through the instructions and I feel they are fairly complete... although it may be that I will have some followup questions, also any advice is welcome!

Thanks,
Harry

Also, I am working on a Dimension ICON system

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SNL-10 probes should work fine for imaging photoresist in contact mode or for doing adhesion maps in force volume mode.  It is likely that the photoresist is too stiff to get good elasticity information with those probes, however.  You should give it a try, but I suspect you will not have much deformation of the sample.

Peak Force Tapping gives you significantly higher resolution and better force control, but you still need to deform the sample if you want to measure the modulus.

There are no special precautions, but you typically only get to use one of the probes from each substrate.  Some people actually intentionally break off the others using tweezers and a microscope, but I have not found this to matter in most cases.

Good luck!

--Bede

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HarryC replied on Fri, Aug 20 2010 3:22 PM

Alternatively, would Peak Force Tapping provide similar data more quickly?

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SNL-10 probes should work fine for imaging photoresist in contact mode or for doing adhesion maps in force volume mode.  It is likely that the photoresist is too stiff to get good elasticity information with those probes, however.  You should give it a try, but I suspect you will not have much deformation of the sample.

Peak Force Tapping gives you significantly higher resolution and better force control, but you still need to deform the sample if you want to measure the modulus.

There are no special precautions, but you typically only get to use one of the probes from each substrate.  Some people actually intentionally break off the others using tweezers and a microscope, but I have not found this to matter in most cases.

Good luck!

--Bede

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HarryC replied on Mon, Aug 23 2010 12:28 PM

I didn't realize before, but my system isn't setup with Peak Force capabilities.

So I am trying to gather Force Volume data instead, but I have some early setbacks. The tip is false engaging and I've tried the countermeasures outlined in the manual (adjusting the photodiode alignment)

Is there any other recommendations you can make to help get the tip to engage? I also tried manually stepping down the Z motor, but it did not appear to have the desired effect.

Thanks!

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HarryC,

Can you start by making sure you can engage and image on a calibration grid? Try to the following settings

Vertical and Horizontal deflection signals set to zero.

Integral and proportional gains set to 2.

Deflection setpoint set to 2 for silicon probe, 5 for silicon nitride.

50 um scan size

2 Hz scan rate

 

If that doesn’t work, we have some diagnostic tests you can preform, but it might be best to contact Tech Suppot first at: 

 

Pat McPhail

Technical Support Engineer

Veeco Instruments, Inc.

pmcphail(at)veeco.com

805-967-1400, 2648

 

Let us know,
Steve

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