AIST-NT MagicScan technology

AIST-NT presents the MagicScan technology which is the set of feedback and scanning process control algorithms. These algorithms allow eliminating different dynamical errors such as overshooting, ringing and phase lag.

The MagicScan key feature is the absence or some negligible level of image distortions while the scan rate is altered over the wide range.

When the MagicScan technology is applied together with the SmartSPM™ scanner, the outstanding results can be achieved because our SmartSPM™ scanner owns the highest XY and Z resonant frequencies among all commercially available SPM wide range scanners (100x100x15 um, up to 7kHz in XY & 15kHz in Z).

To demonstrate our new technology, we have chosen a sample with some complex topography. The sample is a silicon test grating with 3 microns pitch and 25 nm height. The imaging of such samples is a hard job for any SPM. First, it’s due to several or many (on scan areas of tens of microns) sharp steps along scan line. Second, the surface is rather smooth that makes it possible to clearly see any ringing and overshooting of the scanner. In addition, the imaging of small steps (few nanometers) among the high steps (25 nm) shows no loss of resolution while accelerating the scan rate.

We use the semicontact AFM mode with a stiff probe (i.e. resonance frequency is about 500 kHz), 12х12 microns and 30х30 scan areas and 300x300 and 400х400 points XY image resolution respectively.

On the 12x12 microns scan area the rate is increased from 3 to 30 lines per second, while on the 30x30 microns area it’s increased from 2 to 20 lines/sec. The actual value of the current scan rate is shown near the "rate " field in the scan window (since we use the Z-error adaptive scanning algorithm, the actual rate is slightly different from the setting value). On the bottom-right corner you can see the scanner X-sensor signal, which corresponds to the scanner movement. The frequency of this signal is equal to the scan rate.

12um scanning 30um scanning