ZEISS Total Interference Contrast (TIC) for Thin Layer Measurement

From the SolutionsLab for Coatings, Thin Films and Roughness

Many materials manufacturing applications today, including coating deposition, semiconductor production, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and micromachining, require precision surface step-height measurement. To measure simple surface height structures, many of these applications still use tools such as contact profilometers, atomic force instruments and some interferometer-based systems, which frequently are complex, costly, time-consuming and difficult to set up and align. One solution is Total Interference Contrast, which can turn an optical microscope into a micro interferometer.

ZEISS TIC Profilometry solution allows the precise measurement of thin films, surface roughness and other height profiles at the nano scale with a high quality to price level. Based on Axio Imager and an unique white light interferometer it records an interferogram, which displays the optical path length variation of reflected light. The TIC Software Module this interferogram into a cross-section-profile that allows the measure of geometric shape or roughness.

Many materials manufacturing applications today, including coating deposition, semiconductor production, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and micromachining, require precision surface step-height measurement. To measure simple surface height structures, many of these applications still use tools such as contact profilometers, atomic force instruments and some interferometer-based systems, which frequently are complex, costly, time-consuming and difficult to set up and align. One solution is Total Interference Contrast, which can turn an optical 

microscope into a micro interferometer.
ZEISS TIC Profilometry solution allows the precise measurement of thin films, surface roughness and other height profiles at the nano scale with a high quality to price level. Based on Axio Imager and an unique white light interferometer it records an interferogram, which displays the optical path length variation of reflected light. The TIC Software Module this interferogram into a cross-section-profile that allows the measure of geometric shape or roughness.

Highlights

Area of Research:

  • Industrial R&D
  • Materials Science

Sample Types:

  • Semiconductor
  • Metals
  • Glass
  • Ceramics
  • Graphene

Related Solutions:

  • Calotte Grinding Workflow
  • Layer Thickness Measurement
Graphene on SiO2 (300nm) Silicon substrate
Graphene on SiO2 (300nm) Silicon substrate

Workflow

How to profile TIC images:

  1. In ZEN record or load a TIC image in lsm, zvi, or czi format.
  2. Start the TIC macro
  3. Segment the interferogram line for evaluation
  4. Click “finish” and the Apeer module calculates the raw profile image for control, if you don’t have unwanted pieces of the profile or anything missing. Usually you don’t change the default parameters and proceed
  5. After this last step you will receive the resulting profile as profile_coords.csv table and as profile_graph.png screenshot of the profile, both in the active documents in ZEN and in the former indicated TIC images folder

Required components

Microscope

  • Axio Imager
  • Axioscope
  • LSM 900 Mat

Optical components

  • C-DIC reflector module for reflected light
  • 6x20 TIC slider
  • Axiocam Digital Camera

Software

  • ZEN blue 3.2 or higher
  • TIC software (Image Analysis Setting 1_TIC.czias, OAD macro, Key to download Apeer modules: line detection and profile calculation)
  • Apeer module on-site
  • Docker desktop
  • Windows 10 OS
  • 8 GB RAM, 2 CPUs

Need More Information?

Please contact us using the following form.

Problems ​we can help you solve:

  • automation of your imaging process or workflow
  • advanced image analysis and corrections
  • automation of your ROI (region of interest) search
  • tailoring flexible and adaptable workflows for your configuration
  • even, small applications that turn 20 clicks into one

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