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6 May 2009 Sub-50nm extreme ultraviolet holographic imaging
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Imaging tools for nanoscicence involving sub-100-nm scale objects have been dominated by atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), and electron microscopy (SEM, TEM). These imaging techniques have contributed substantially to the development of nanoscience, providing a very powerful diagnostic tool capable of obtaining images with atomic resolution or as a subsidiary mechanism to arrange or modify surfaces also at the atomic scale [1,2]. However, some important problems have persisted traditional nanoscale imaging techniques. For example when scanning a nanometer size object that is not attached rigidly to a surface the interaction with the tip significantly perturbs the specimen degrading or eventually precluding the image acquisition. Electron microscopy often requires surface preparation, consisting of metallization of the sample to avoid surface charging. Additionally the metallization of the sample may alter its characteristics and also limits the resolution. In both cases, if the sample is large (millimeters in size) due to the limited field of view, the image obtained with these conventional methods is only representative of a very small portion of the object. Wavelength-limited holographic imaging using carbon nanotubes as the test object with a table-top extreme ultraviolet (EUV) laser operating at 46.9 nm will be discussed. The resolution achieved in this imaging is evaluated with a rigorous correlation image analysis and confirmed with the conventional knife-edge test. The nano-holography presented requires no optics or critical beam alignment; thus the hologram recording scheme is very simple and does not need special sample preparation. In holography, image contrast requires absorption to provide scattering by the illuminating beam. The EUV laser wavelength employed in this experiment (46.9nm) is advantageous because carbon based materials typically exhibit very small attenuation lengths, around 25 nm. The high absorption of even small object volumes produces high optical contrasts. The short attenuation length thus enables nearly full contrast for most objects without applying forces to the imaged objects, no charge buildup, and without the need for complicated sample preparation. Additionally this simple technique allows to image macroscopic size objects, several millimeters square with arbitrary shape while simultaneously sustaining across the image sub-50 nm spatial resolution. This characteristic is equivalent to storing data at a density rate of ~0.3 Tbit per square inch over large areas, and represents a simple demonstration of a method that allows permanently dense storage of a large amount of data.
© (2009) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
P. W. Wachulak, M. C. Marconi, R. A. Bartels, C. S. Menoni, and J. J. Rocca "Sub-50nm extreme ultraviolet holographic imaging", Proc. SPIE 7358, Holography: Advances and Modern Trends, 735806 (6 May 2009);


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