Nanopositioning and nanomeasuring machines (NPM machines) developed at the Ilmenau University of Technology
allow the measurement of micro- and nanostructures with nanometer precision in a measurement volume of
25 mm × 25 mm × 5 mm (NMM-1) or 200 mm × 200 mm × 25 mm (NPMM-200). Various visual, tactile or atomic force
sensors can all be used to measure specimens. Atomic force sensors have emerged as a powerful tool in nanotechnology.
Large-scale AFM measurements are very time-consuming and in fact in a practical sense they are impossible over
millimeter ranges due to low scanning speeds. A cascaded multi-sensor system can be used to implement a multi-scale
measurement and testing strategy for nanopositioning and nanomeasuring machines. This approach involves capturing an
overview image at the limit of optical resolution and automatically scanning the measured data for interesting test areas
that are suitable for a higher-resolution measurement. These “fields of interest” can subsequently be measured in the
same NPM machine using individual AFM sensor scans.
The results involve extremely large data sets that cannot be handled by off-the-shelf software. Quickly navigating within
terabyte-sized data files requires preprocessing to be done on the measured data to calculate intermediate images based on the principle of a visualization pyramid. This pyramid includes the measured data of the entire volume, prepared in the form of discrete measurement volumes (spatial tiles or cubes) with certain edge lengths at specific zoom levels. The functionality of the closed process chain is demonstrated using a blob analysis for automatically selecting regions of interest on the specimen. As expected, processing large amounts of data places particularly high demands on both computing power and the software architecture.
The paper focuses on the utilization of nanopositioning and nanomeasuring machines as a three dimensional coordinate
measuring machine by means of the international harmonized communication protocol Inspection plus plus for
Dimensional Measurement Equipment (abbreviated I++DME). I++DME was designed 1999 to enable the
interoperability of different measuring hardware, like coordinate measuring machines, form tester, camshaft or
crankshaft measuring machines, with a priori unknown third party controlling and analyzing software.
Our recent work was focused on the implementation of a modular, standard conform command interpreter server for the
Inspection plus plus protocol. This communication protocol enables the application of I++DME compliant graphical
controlling software, which is easy to operate and less error prone than the currently used textural programming via
The function and architecture of the I++DME command interpreter is discussed and the principle of operation is
demonstrated by means of an example controlling a nanopositioning and nanomeasuring machine with Hexagon
Metrology's controlling and analyzing software QUINDOS 7 via the I++DME command interpreter server.
The Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy (KPFM) is a method to detect the surface potential of micro- and nanostructured
samples using a common Scanning Probe Microscope (SPM). The electrostatic force has a very long
range compared to other surface forces. By using SPM systems the KPFM measurements are performed in the
noncontact region at surface distances greater than 10 nm. In contrast to topography measurement, the measured
data is blurred. The KPFM signal can be described as a convolution of an effective surface potential and a
microscope intrinsic point spread function, which allows the restoration of the measured data by deconvolution.
This paper deals with methods to deconvolute the measured KPFM data with the objective to increase the
lateral resolution. An analytical and a practical way of obtaining the point spread function of the microscope
was compared. In contrast to other papers a modern DoF-restricted deconvolution algorithm is applied to the
measured data. The new method was demonstrated on a nanoscale test stripe pattern for lateral resolution and
calibration of length scales (BAM-L200) made by German Federal Istitute for Materials Research and Testing.