Abstract

A systematic noise-analysis study for optimizing data collection and data processing parameters for through-focus scanning optical microscopy (TSOM) is presented. TSOM is a three-dimensional shape metrology method that can achieve sub-nanometer measurement sensitivity by analyzing sets of images acquired through focus using a conventional optical microscope. We show that the best balance between signal-to-noise performance and acquisition time can be achieved by judicious spatial averaging. Correct background-signal subtraction of the imaging system inhomogeneities is also critical, as well as careful alignment of the constituent images in the case of differential TSOM analysis.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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