High resolution scanning probe microscopy techniques combined with infrared (IR) light sources offer unique solutions to combined chemical/mechanical/electrical characterization of defects in nanoscale dimensions. Previously, atomic force microscopy combined with infrared (AFM-IR) technology has demonstrated its capability to characterize nano-patterned metal/low-k dielectrics, nanoscale organic contaminants, and directed self-assembly of block co-polymers used for advanced micro/nanofabrications. In this paper, two complementary nanoscale chemical analysis techniques, photothermal AFM-IR and scattering type scanning near-field optical microscopy, are implemented to isolate and characterize microelectronic device cross-sections. It is observed that both techniques are able to detect patterned features with a half-pitch less than 15 nm.

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