Research Article: Drift-insensitive distributed calibration of probe microscope scanner in nanometer range: Virtual mode

R. V. Lapshin, Drift-insensitive distributed calibration of probe microscope scann..., Applied Surface Science, vol. 378, pp. 530-539, 2016 (DOI: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2016.03.201)

Abstract: A method of distributed calibration of a probe microscope scanner is suggested. The main idea consists in a search for a net of local calibration coefficients (LCCs) in the process of automatic measurement of a standard surface, whereby each point of the movement space of the scanner can be characterized by a unique set of scale factors. Feature-oriented scanning (FOS) methodology is used as a basis for implementation of the distributed calibration permitting to exclude in situ the negative influence of thermal drift, creep and hysteresis on the obtained results. Possessing the calibration database enables correcting in one procedure all the spatial systematic distortions caused by nonlinearity, nonorthogonality and spurious crosstalk couplings of the microscope scanner piezomanipulators. To provide high precision of spatial measurements in nanometer range, the calibration is carried out using natural standards – constants of crystal lattice. One of the useful modes of the developed calibration method is a virtual mode. In the virtual mode, instead of measurement of a real surface of the standard, the calibration program makes a surface image “measurement” of the standard, which was obtained earlier using conventional raster scanning. The application of the virtual mode permits simulation of the calibration process and detail analysis of raster distortions occurring in both conventional and counter surface scanning. Moreover, the mode allows to estimate the thermal drift and the creep velocities acting while surface scanning. Virtual calibration makes possible automatic characterization of a surface by the method of scanning probe microscopy (SPM).

Keywords: STM, AFM, SPM, Scanner, Calibration, Drift, Creep, Nonlinearity, Nonorthogonality, Crosstalk coupling, Graphite, HOPG, Recognition, Feature-oriented scanning, FOS, Counter-scanning, Counter-scanned images, Nanometrology, Surface characterization, Nanotechnology

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