Development of an in-line, noncontact metrology framework for process control in roll-to-roll nanofabrication




Connolly, Liam G.

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This thesis details development of a metrology framework and proof-of-concept prototype system to perform nanometer-scale topography measurements for process control feedback in the roll-to-roll (R2R) nanofabrication of various patterned films, materials, and flexible electronic devices. This work aims to bridge a gap in measurement capability for R2R products where in-line inspection of sub-wavelength structures is desired to optimize fabrication processes. The framework employs a single chip atomic force microscope (sc-AFM) based on a micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) architecture. The extremely compact sc-AFM is approached to the sample with a double parallelogram flexure mechanism (DPFM) based positioner and this approach-and-measure subsystem itself is mounted to a gantry which is positioned by two vertical, DPFM two-axis linear bearings. This probe is situated over an air bearing supported, live-shaft stainless steel idler roller. The proof-of-concept tool performs a single, 400 µm², non-contact mode scan on a 150 µm thick polycarbonate substrate every 60 seconds in a step-and-scan manner where web movement occurs during each step. The performance of the sc-AFM gantry nanopositioning system is assessed and the sc-AFM measurement quality measured with a standard test sample. The prototype tool is then used to scan a representative nanofeatured flexible material, the wing of a Queen Butterfly, to demonstrate the quality of the nanometrology data acquired. This capability represents a wholly new methodology for in-line measurement of nanoscale features in R2R manufacturing.


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