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Local Electrode Atom Probes for 3-D Metrology

T. Kelly, T. Gribb, J. Olson, R. Martens, J. Shepard, S. Wiener, T. Kunicki, R. Ulfig, D. Lenz, E. Strennen, E. Oltman, J. Bunton and D. Strait
Imago Scientific Instruments Corp., US

Keywords: atom probe, characterization, metrology, nanoscale analysis, 3-D imaging

Imago Scientific Instruments is developing its Local Electrode Atom Probe (LEAP) microscope for use in semiconductor, data storage, and other nanotechnology industries to provide 3-D atomic-scale metrology. The LEAP microscope achieves true 3-D atomic-scale analysis by using a high electric field to remove individual atoms from material surfaces and a position-sensitive detector to record information that reveals the atoms position and identity. The LEAP microscope represents a new class of tool for atomic-scale characterization whose analytical capabilities surpass those of currently employed metrology tools. The LEAP microscopes atom-by-atom analysis achieves higher spatial resolution and greater sensitivity than TEM, and provides lateral spatial resolution that is not available by SIMS. Specific industry needs that may be addressed by the LEAP microscope are quantitative analysis of dopant distributions in ultra-shallow junctions, purity/interface structures of ultra-thin dielectrics, and multilayer thin film structure in read/write head and storage media technology. This paper presents results of LEAP analysis of buried interfaces in electronic materials to show the unique nature of the analytical information provided by the technique and the potential benefit to industry of developing a metrology tool based on LEAP technology.

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