US 11,054,439 B2
Scanning probe microscope and method for increasing a scan speed of a scanning probe microscope in the step-in scan mode
Christof Baur, Darmstadt (DE)
Assigned to Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH, Oberkochen (DE)
Filed by Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH, Oberkochen (DE)
Filed on Apr. 26, 2019, as Appl. No. 16/395,542.
Application 16/395,542 is a continuation of application No. PCT/EP2017/077431, filed on Oct. 26, 2017.
Claims priority of application No. 102016221319.9 (DE), filed on Oct. 28, 2016.
Prior Publication US 2019/0250185 A1, Aug. 15, 2019
Int. Cl. G01Q 10/04 (2010.01); G01Q 10/06 (2010.01)
CPC G01Q 10/045 (2013.01) [G01Q 10/06 (2013.01)] 27 Claims
OG exemplary drawing
 
1. A scanning probe microscope comprising:
a. a scan unit embodied to scan a measuring probe over a sample surface in a step-in scan mode; and
b. a self-oscillation circuit arrangement configured to excite the measuring probe to a natural oscillation during the step-in scan mode;
c. wherein the self-oscillation circuit arrangement comprises a phase shifter configured to set a phase of the excitation relative to the natural oscillation of the measuring probe, wherein the phase shifter is configured to set the excitation with a phase difference in relation to a best possible excitation of the natural oscillation of the measuring probe in a range of ±30°; and
wherein the self-oscillation circuit arrangement comprises an automatic gain closed-loop control configured to set an amplitude of the natural oscillation of the measuring probe.
 
13. A method for increasing a scan speed of a scanning probe microscope operating in a step-in scan mode, the method comprising the following steps:
a. scanning a measuring probe over a sample surface in a step-in scan mode;
b. exciting the measuring probe to carry out a natural oscillation during the step-in scan mode by way of a self-oscillation circuit arrangement; and
c. setting a phase of the excitation relative to the natural oscillation of the measuring probe by use of a phase shifter of the self-oscillation circuit arrangement, wherein the phase shifter is configured to set the excitation with a phase difference in relation to a best possible excitation of the natural oscillation of the measuring probe in a range of ±30°; and
wherein the self-oscillation circuit arrangement comprises an automatic gain closed-loop control configured to set an amplitude of the natural oscillation of the measuring probe.
 
18. A non-transitory computer-readable medium storing a computer program comprising instructions which, when executed by a computer system, prompt the computer system in combination with a scanning probe microscope to carry out a method for increasing a scan speed of the scanning probe microscope operating in a step-in scan mode, the method comprising the following steps:
(a) scanning a measuring probe over a sample surface in a step-in scan mode;
(b) exciting the measuring probe to carry out a natural oscillation during the step-in scan mode by way of a self-oscillation circuit arrangement; and
(c) setting a phase of the excitation relative to the natural oscillation of the measuring probe by use of a phase shifter of the self-oscillation circuit arrangement, wherein the phase shifter is configured to set the excitation with a phase difference in relation to a best possible excitation of the natural oscillation of the measuring probe in the range of ±30°; and
wherein the self-oscillation circuit arrangement comprises an automatic gain closed-loop control configured to set an amplitude of the natural oscillation of the measuring probe.