||Nowadays, the "size-reducing" trend is the driving force of nanotechnology, which is already capable to manufacture micro and nano structures and it is pushing the dimensions to atomic scale. Microelectronic components, such as optical diffraction gratings are the widest variety of nano specimens. Since they are specified, according to some relevant parameters, they must be measured with high accuracy.
In this context, microscopic measurements become important, especially since smaller values of tolerance are required from the process of fabrication of nano components. Nanometrology, interacts with the nanotechnology.
The Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) is one of the Scanning Probe Microscopes, useful for taking microscopic measurements. During this project, a metrological AFM was used. It is a "special" AFM, in the sense of accurate, still used by few groups of research.
This thesis regards measurements on a diffraction grating, which is deeper than it is wide.
The first part of the project was based on training on the correct use of the instrument, which was propaedeutic for taking accurate measurements. It was important to acquire the necessary skills in order to have the control of the AFM parameters.
The main part of the project focused on the characterization of an optical grating, given by one of the partners of DFM. A complete investigation was done of the geometric features of the sample and of part of the surface texture analysis.
Because of the particular structure of the grating, which was narrower than an usual grating, the focus moved also on the probe characteristics.
A small part of the work was dedicated to improve a particular AFM set-up, which was used during the measurements. A personal CAD-project was realized.