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AFM Dimension FastScan manual

AFM FastScan

Table of content: CMI

  1. Introduction
  2. Access conditions & training
  3. Basic operations
  4. Photos galery

I. Introduction CMI


Bruker’s Dimension FastScan AFM system is composed of:

(1) Acoustic and vibration isolation enclosure

(2) Two AFM scanners (FastScan AFM scanner & Icon AFM scanner)

(3) Ultra-stable high-resonance microscope base

(4-5) 30'' Monitor and a computer with the FastScan NanoScope software

(6) NanoScope V, stage controller and HV amplifiers
AFM overview
Figure 1: AFM Dimension FastScan overview


The FastScan AFM scanner is compatible with the following standard scanning modes ScanAsyst, Nanomechanical Mapping, TappingMode (air, fluid), PhaseImaging, Contact Mode and EFM

Figure 2: FastScan scanner
The Icon AFM scanner is compatible with the standard scanning modes ScanAsyst, TappingMode (air), Contact Mode and EFM

Figure 3: Icon scanner

The specificity of each scanner are summarized in the table below:

Parameter Icon Scanner FastScan Scanner
X-Y scan range 90um x 90um typical, 85um minimum 35um x 35um typical, 30um minimum
Z range 10um typical in imaging and force curve modes
9.5um minimum
Vertical noise floor <30pm RMS, height in appropriate environment
Typical imaging BW (up to 625Hz)
<40pm RMS, sensor in appropriate environment (up to 625kHz)
X-Y tip velocity
(1% tracking error)
-- >2mm/Sec max.
Z tip max velocity
X-Y position noise
(closed loop)
<0.15nm RMS typical imaging BW
(up to 625Hz)
<0.20nm RMS typical imaging BW
(up to 2.5kHz in Adaptive)
Z sensor noise level 35pm RMS typical imaging BW (up to 625Hz)
50pm RMS force curve BW (0.1Hz to 5kHz)
30pm RMS typical imaging BW
(up to 625Hz)
X-Y flatness -- <3nm (30um range)
Integral nonlinearity <0.50% <0.50% (X-Y-Z)

Full documentation is available for each scanner:

Chuck & Optics

The chuck is compatible with 2'', 3'', 4'', 6'' and 8'' wafers with a thickness lower than 15 mm. The chuck is also compatible with dies with a thickness lower than 7.5 mm. The chuck is motorized for an inspection area of 150x180 mm. The chuck can be manually rotated. The unidirectional stage repeatability (X&Y) is 2.0 um and 3.0 um for the bidirectional repeatability.

The tool is equipped with a digital camera (5MP), the viewing area ranges from 180 um to 1465 um for the icon scanner and from 130 um to 1465 um for the FastScan scanner.

II. Access conditions & training CMI

  • The Bruker AFM is reserved to the regular CMi users.
  • It is exclusively reserved to the control of processes which have been done with the CMi installation.
  • Each user has to use his own tips (boxes with 10 tips can be ordered on the CMi website).
  • The data treatment is done on another computer than the AFM computer. You download your pictures from the EPFL-STI network:
    "\\cmipc93\E\capture\labname\yourfolder" via the STI server.
    The software Nanoscope analysis for the data treatment can be directly downloaded from the network too:
    "\\cmisrv1\@public\Nanoscope Analysis".
  • The training is focused on the change of tips and on the use of the Nanoscope software in the mode 'ScanAsyst' to carry out the AFM measurement. The optimization of the scanning parameters is not part of the training, nor are the other scanning modes.
  • At the end of the measurement, the chuck has to be in loading position and the Z-piezo clamps on the external support.

  • 10 tips standard box Handling tools and Z-piezo element
    Figure 4: 10 tips standard box Figure 5: Handling tools and Z-piezo element

    III. Basic operations CMI

    Tip change

    1. In the main menu of each scanning mode select setup then change probe and then sample unloading. The chuck moves outside from the scanning head area

    Setup sub menu 1
    Figure 6: Setup sub menu 1

    1. Unplug the connector of the piezo
    2. Take the piezo with 2 fingers
    3. Switch off the vacuum used for the piezo clamping
    4. Press the button to eject the piezo Z and put it face up on the dedicated support:
    5. Unclip the fork with a metallic tweezers and move it at the opposite side around it axis
    6. Remove the tip from its support and stick it in one box
    7. Select a new tip and put it on the Z
    8. Move back the fork and clip it
    Piezo change
    Figure 7: Piezo change

    Clip open. No tip Tip change
    Figure 8: Clip open. No tip Figure 9: Tip change
    Clip open. Tip on Clip closed. Tip on
    Figure 10: Clip open. Tip on Figure 11: Clip closed. Tip on

    1. Take the piezo Z with 2 fingers and install it on the scanning head
    2. Switch on the vacuum and plug the connector

    Measurement routine

    1. Login on the zone computer
    2. Login on the AFM control computer
    3. Place your wafer on the chuck and switch on the vacuum or stick your sample on the magnetic support and put it on the chuck
    4. Double-click on the Nanoscope V815R2 icon to start the application
    5. Select the scanning mode from the menu (e.g. ScanAsyst):

    Scanning modes
    Figure 12: Scanning modes

    1. If you have the message Stage initialize, then press yes;
    2. Select the menu setup and click on change probe (sub menu n1, see Figure 6):
      - Select your tip from the list of tip proposed and check the beam size. The color of the beam size is red if the beam size on the scanning head is not correct. Proceed to the change of the tip (see the paragraph Tip change) and then press OK
      - Focus the camera on the tip (sub menu n2)
      - Align the beam on the tip with a double click on the tip (sub menu n3)
      - Align the camera on the tip (sub menu n4)
      - For tapping mode only : select your resonance frequency (sub menu n5)
    Workflow Toolbar

    Figure 13: Workflow Toolbar

    Change probe
    Figure 14: Change probe

    Setup sub menu 2
    Figure 15: Setup sub menu 2

    Setup sub menu 3
    Figure 16: Setup sub menu 3

    Setup sub menu 4
    Figure 17: Setup sub menu 4

    Setup sub menu 5
    Figure 18: Setup sub menu 5

    1. Select the menu navigate:
      - Move your sample below the scanning head if it's not already done (sub menu n3)
      - Adjust the tip position at few microns above the sample surface either with a focus of the camera on the sample or with a focus on the tip if the sample is transparent or without pattern (sub menu n2)

      Navigate sub menu 1
      Figure 19: Navigate sub menu 1

      Navigate sub menu 2
      Figure 20: Navigate sub menu 2

      Navigate sub menu 3
      Figure 21: Navigate sub menu 3

    2. Click on the menu check parameters and check the scanning parameter

      Scanning parameters
      Figure 22: Scanning parameters

    3. Click on the menu engage and wait for the automatic measurement with an automatic tuning of the scanning parameters:
      - Once the scanning parameters are stabilized you can change the very basic parameters like scan speed and scan size scan ratio
      - To modify the parameters like feedback gain and peak force set point, click on ScanAsyst Auto Control and turn on them in individual mode
      - To have access to more sophisticated parameters click on the red puzzle in the toolbar
      - To save your picture go to 'capture\capture filename'
    4. To scan an another sample or to stop the scanning, click on withdraw and then sample unloading in the setup or navigate menus

    5. Home page of the AFM software
      Figure 23: Home page of the AFM software

      Home page of the 'Set-up' menu
      Figure 24: Home page of the Set-up menu

      Home page of the 'Navigate' menu
      Figure 25: Home page of the Navigate menu

      IV. Photos galery CMI

      Coming soon...