The NanoScale seminar will stimulate the exchange between researchers, industrial users and metrologists on measuring techniques for the nano- and microworld such as scanning probe, advanced optical and electron microscopies as well as related techniques.
The accurate determination of dimensional and other properties of micro- and nanostructures and other advanced materials is essential not only for research and development, but increasingly also a prerequisite in process control and quality assurance in a broad range of industries from semiconductor business and ultra-precision manufacturing to nanobiology and nanomedicine. Advanced manufacturing often demands novel refined measurement techniques to check and finally control new fabrication processes.
Changes of physical and chemical properties are often correlated with the size and form of structures. Moreover, size and morphology of many materials are decisive when it comes to potential risks for health, safety and environment (HSE). Consequently, technical regulations for protection can only be implemented reliably if appropriate measurement technologies are available, thoroughly tested and validated. Especially National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) face the challenge to ensure traceability to the SI units and to help to establish comparability across instruments and methods in question. International standardization aims to establish generally agreed harmonized procedures and relies on the expertise of metrologists and other scientists when it comes to measurement and characterization of novel materials. NanoScale provides a forum for discussion of solid metrology, which forms a prerequisite for safe and sustainable application of nanotechnology and other advanced manufacturing. High-speed SPM measurements of functional properties of nanostructures will be addressed in a Special Session of NanoScale 2023.
This increasingly requires stable instruments with high resolution and small measurement uncertainty. Instrumentation is therefore one of the key topics of NanoScale.
While scanning probe and electron microscopies typically yield areal information at high spatial resolution, their application is often too complex in many industries, and rather easy-to-use techniques such as stylus are still common although they usually yield 2D information only, while 3D is often needed nowadays to assess the sample’s functional properties. This gap is increasingly filled by various optical areal surface measurement techniques such as interference microscopy, confocal scanning microscopy, focus variation and others, which are typically fast and can often be integrated as inline measurement tool in the manufacturing chain. The understanding of measurement properties of such instruments is making progress in recently years, based on systematic characterization as well as modelling and simulation. A second Special Session is dedicated to optical surface measurement techniques at NanoScale 2023.
The specification, characterization and calibration of instruments requires well elaborated, generally agreed and accepted uniform standardized procedures. Finally, measurements result in a quantitative number and unit describing a geometrical or physical property. This has to be combined with the measurement uncertainty, determined by using an appropriate measurement uncertainty budget, to achieve a traceable result and ensure comparability over long time and, whenever possible, across methods – a particularly challenging task in nanometrology.
Advances in instrumentation such as position-measuring systems, linearization methods, improved repeatable probe/sample positioning, high-speed, low force, novel/improved probe/detector systems, 3D probing concepts, probe-sample interaction, image processing, as well as modelling and simulation techniques. A few examples:
The characterization and specification of instruments is a prerequisite for any accurate and traceable measurements.
Quantitative measurements and measurement applications in fields like