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Resolving three-dimensional shape of sub-50 nm wide lines with nanometer-scale sensitivity using conventional optical microscopes
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We experimentally demonstrate that the three-dimensional (3-D) shape variations of nanometer-scale objects can be resolved and measured with sub-nanometer scale sensitivity using conventional optical microscopes by analyzing 4-D optical data using the through-focus scanning optical microscopy (TSOM) method. These initial results show that TSOM-determined cross-sectional (3-D) shape differences of 30 nm–40 nm wide lines agree well with critical-dimension atomic force microscope measurements. The TSOM method showed a linewidth uncertainty of 1.22 nm (k = 2). Complex optical simulations are not needed for analysis using the TSOM method, making the process simple, economical, fast, and ideally suited for high volume nanomanufacturing process monitoring.
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