Non-Destructive Evaluation

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Scanning Probe Microscopy

Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) describes a family of instruments that measure the surface properties of materials to a high degree of resolution. These instruments include scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), magnetic force microscopy (MFM), electric force microscopy (EFM), scanning capacitance microscopy (SCM), and scanning thermal microscopy (SThM). All SPM techniques are comprised of a atomically sharp probe attached to a cantilever beam. Taking advantage of force (atomic, electric, magnetic) interactions, a highly controlled feedback loop maintains control of the probe above the surface while providing imaging information on a variety of surface properties. X and Y resolution is in the nanometer range; Z resolution is in the angstrom range.

CALCE uses a DIGITAL INSTRUMENTS Dimension 3000 Scanning Probe Microscope (SPM). The Dimension 3000 can be used in failure analysis and materials characterization. When analyzing fully assembled ICs, the Dimension 3000 can look for obvious misprocessing that might show up in the topography measured by AFM, as electrical problems that may be shown by tracing applied potentials with EFM, or as hot spots on the surface that can be seen by SThM. The Dimension 3000 can also measure the friction, hardness and surface adhesion of a wide variety of electronic materials. The uniqueness, range of capabilities, and high resolution of the SPM can provide the crucial information to determine the root cause of failure in your electronic product.