AFM Analysis

AFM Force Curve Analysis | AFM Image Analysis | AFM Surface Analysis | AFM Roughness Analysis

Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)

Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) or Scanning Probe Microscopy analysis uses a tip that is attached to a cantilever that moves over the specimen surface to generate images with a near-atomic resolution for measuring surface topography. The tip is scanned laterally and the force between the tip and the sample is measured and recorded to generate the topography of the surface. There are a few modes of measurements as follows:

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Where do we use AFM?

AFM Image Analysis

AFM is widely used in failure analysis and wafer processing of ICs. AFM is used in IC’s Redistribution Layer (RDL), Chemical Mechanical Polishing (CMP), and Under Bump Metallization (UBM) process now. Research is focused on measuring and monitoring differences between pre-and post-etching as any abnormal roughness is very likely to result in a loss of coated film and even reliability issues.

AFM Analysis​

What is the difference between SEM and AFM?

The SEM gives magnification in two dimensions: X and Y. The AFM gives magnification in three dimensions: X, Y, and Z… AFMs also provide different magnifications in the X, Y, and Z axes. While SEMs scan a sample surface much faster than an AFM, they are not actually faster to use than an AFM scanning.


AFM is a powerful tool used in failure analysis of semiconductor devices as well as inspection of surface roughness, and contamination in chip foundries.