THIN FILM

thickness measurement (case 20)

QUESTION:

What’s the thickness and roughness of a thin film?

In order to support process optimization for a functional composite material, we were asked to determine the average thickness and roughness of a ca. 20 micron thin film that was too soft for robust thickness determination via mechanical gauges or profilers.

APPROACH:

Roughness analysis and thickness measurement

A free standing film was provided. Since the film was not scattering much, a white light interferometer was chosen for the measurements and 2 kinds of measurements were performed: a roughness analysis of the upper film-air interface in a standard height scanning mode and film thickness mapping of the whole film by a scan through the complete material, giving an image-wise access to height positions of both upper and lower interfaces.

The average refractive index of the film was provided by UV/VIS reflectometry as input for the ‘thick film’ analysis module of the interferometer. The result was a thickness map of the measured area.

RESULT:

Film thickness and roughness determined

From the thickness map the average film thickness and thickness variations could be derived, providing information on particle contamination at the surface and process intrinsic thickness variations. With this method at hand, the process could be optimized to obtain thickness variations that are in line with performance specifications.

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