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Basics and industrial applications of AFM


This course provides attendees with a basic working knowledge of atomic force microscopy (AFM) and industrial critical dimension (CD) metrology. After introduction to AFM technology the course is focusing on modern industrial applications of CDAFM. The most common AFM applications in semiconductor and data storage R&D and manufacturing are reviewed. For every application AFM is compared with other possible metrology solutions. Merits and limitations of each metrology solution are detailed. The final part of the course is dealing with SI-traceability and uncertainty of AFM measurements. AFM is presented as a potential reference metrology tool.

Learning outcomes 

This course will enable you to: 
  • Secify an AFM which meets the best scope of your applications 
  • Avoid common mistakes and misconceptions related to AFM use 
  • Describe physical principles, merits and limitations of AFM 
  • Define SI-traceability and explain benefits of accuracy 
  • List and estimate major components of AFM uncertainty 
  • Explain concept of reference metrology 

Intended audience 

This material is intended for anyone who wants to learn basics of industrial AFM and critical dimension metrology. Current users of AFM who wants to expand spectrum of applications and improve uncertainty of AFM measurements. Those who either develop their own metrology solutions or who work with external or internal metrology providers will find this course valuable. 

Course level 


Course Length 

A half-day (3.5 hours) 


The instructor of this course is the semiconductor industry recognized expert in critical dimension and reference metrologies who was developing metrology solutions for six technology nodes at Texas Instruments. The instructor has more than 60 scientific publications in surface science, photochemistry, semiconductor characterization and dimensional metrology. 


The course is using some materials from Handbook of Silicon Semiconductor Metrology, editor A. C. Diebold, Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York • Basel, 2001.