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Inspection in the MEMS Manufacturing Process/3D shape measurement of a micron-sized area using a laser microscope


Technical innovations in the MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical-systems) market are remarkable; the commercialization of various sensors, ink-jet printer nozzles, medical devices, and other micro-electrical systems is under way in different fields. The shapes, structures, and implementation of MEMS methods are becoming more diverse and complicated. As components become smaller, it is increasingly important to have technology capable of accurately measuring very small areas.

The Olympus solution

Olympus' OLS4100 3D laser scanning confocal microscope enables timely surface profile observations of intricate MEMS structures, surface profile measurements, and provides resolution and accuracy that were previously unavailable. For example, for a sample that is still in a wafer state, the OLS4100 can capture real-time 3D imaging of the wafer’s cross-section during grinding and determine quality during the etching process; inspectors no longer need to rely on electron microscopes (Figure 1).

Cantilevered beams are rigid structures anchored only at one end and are important components of many MEMS. If the delicate cantilevered beams become bent, electronic devices may not work properly. The OLS4100 is equipped for confocal imaging, an observation method for imaging only the area in focus, that can be used to instantly determine if a MEMS-specific cantilever structure is bent. When no bending is present, the microscope obtains an image of the sample entirely in focus (Figure 2, left). However, when bending is present, the deflected area of the sample is not in focus and will appear dark (Figure 2, right). This feature enables inspectors to quickly perform quality assurance on MEMS products.

MEMS 3D shape evaluation


Optical MEMS Objective lens Zoom

MEMS_Micro lens_3D

Micro lens array Objective lens Zoom

Figure 1

Cantilever deflection test using confocal observation


Cantilever With deflection
Objective lens: 50X Zoom: 1X 


Cantilever With deflection
Objective lens: 50X Zoom: 1X 

Figure 2

Olympus IMS

Products used for this application


With the Olympus LEXT OLS5000 laser scanning confocal microscope, noncontact, nondestructive 3D observations and measurements are easy to produce. Simply by pushing the Start button, users can measure fine shapes at the submicron level. Ease of use is combined with leading-edge features to deliver an acquisition speed four times faster than our previous model. For customers with larger samples, LEXT long working distance objectives and an extended frame option allow the system to accommodate samples as large as 210 mm.
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