Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is useful for investigating the surfaces and characteristics of different materials down to nanometre detail. Accurate surface roughness measurement is not only a highly powerful technique for understanding the basic physics of materials, but also very useful in examining device structures and their failure mechanisms. In addition, roughness repeatability is one of the very important factors in industrial applications as it relates to the customer’s product reliability. Park AFM’s True Non-Contact mode is especially essential for accurate and repeatable surface roughness measurement. In order to measure accurate and repeatable roughness, two key requirements need to be satisfied. First is maintaining the tip sharpness and the other is lowering the system noise.

In this paper, we examine these two requirements for measuring surface roughness. Also, we demonstrate why True Non-Contact mode is powerful for accurate roughness measurement by testing a tip-check sample and ultra-flat media samples using Park AFM.

Request white paper