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Comparative film thickness determination by atomic force microscopy and ellipsometry for ultrathin prepolymer films



Surface and Interface Analysis 23 (1995), S.797-808
ISSN: 0142-2421
Fraunhofer IFAM ()
Fraunhofer IZM, Einrichtung Polymermaterialien und Composite ( Fraunhofer EPC) ()
aluminium; atomic force microscopy; Dickenmessung; Ellipsometrie; ellipsometry; polymer; Rasterkraftmikroskopie; silicon; Silizium; thickness determinnation

Ellipsometry and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) were utilized to study the film thickness of continuous and discontinuous polymer films in the 1 to 20 nm thickness range on smooth silicon wafers and on structured aluminum substrates. The methods of exploiting AFM for thickness measurements with a high spatial resolution are described. For continuous films, the AFM method is a direct one, i.e. it does not rely on any model. There is excellent agreement between AFM and ellipsometry in the 1 to 10 nm thickness range. Very small systematic deviations in this range, but big deviations above 10 nm occur and are discussed. The film preparation method, spin coating, was characterized to result in prepolymer films with a very homogeneous thickness. Discontinuous films with 2 to 9 nm thickness were also evaluated by both methods of thickness determination. In this case, for one of the AFM approaches a model has to be utilised, too. The agreement between both methods ranged from very good to poor depending on the kind of sample and on the kind of AFM determination method