A new method for cross-scale imaging of AFM and scanning microlens-associated microscopy

Schematic of AFM and scanning microlens associated imaging

Semiconductor chip imaging results

Recently, the Shenyang Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, has made new progress in microlens-based imaging, proposing a nondestructive, fast, multi-scale associative imaging method that combines AFM with microlens-based scanning light microscopy, and the relevant results are in the form of a paper (Correlative AFM and Scanning Microlens Microscopy for Time-Efficient Multiscale Imaging) was published in the top international academic journal Advanced Science (Cassia I, IF= 16.806).

In semiconductor device manufacturing, error detection, defect localization, and analysis of semiconductor wafers are critical to quality control and process efficiency. Therefore, in order to improve the detection resolution and efficiency of the chip feature structure, it is necessary to develop new large-range, high-resolution, and rapid imaging technologies.

To this end, the micro and nano automation team of the State Key Laboratory of Robotics based on the Shenyang Institute of Automation proposed a new associative imaging method. The researchers coupled the microlens with the AFM probe, and by depositing the scanning probe on the surface of the sample-oriented microlens, combining the advantages of microlens-based optical imaging and AFM to achieve three imaging modes: fast high-throughput scanning optical imaging of microlenses, AFM imaging of surface fine structures, and simultaneous imaging of microlens AFM.

Experimental results show that the introduction of microlens improves the imaging resolution of the traditional AFM optical system, and the imaging magnification is increased by 3-4 times, which effectively narrows the resolution gap between traditional optical imaging and AFM. Compared to a single AFM imaging mode, the imaging speed is approximately 8 times faster. High-throughput, high-resolution AFM and scanning ultra-lens associated microscopy provide a new technical means to achieve rapid imaging across scales with micro- to nano-scale resolution.

The research has been strongly supported by the National Science Foundation of China’s National Major Scientific Research Instrument Development Project (Cross-scale Synchronous Micro-nano Observation and Operating System Based on Microsphere Superlens) and the Independent Project of the State Key Laboratory of Robotics. (Source: Shenyang Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences)

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