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Atomically smooth surfaces

PTB-News 1.2017
Especially interesting for

roughness measurements

optical metrology

manufacturers of gauge blocks

Mono-atomic steps in an amphitheater structure on (111)-silicon

At PTB, a novel manufacturing procedure based on (111)-silicon wafers al-lows areas with dimensions of up to 150  µm² to be generated which exhibit both atomically smooth surfaces and surfaces with monoatomic steps. In this procedure, a self-organizing process is triggered by using a targeted heating process under ultra-high vacuum within several lithographically structured patterns. The atomically smooth surfaces thus obtained represent huge progress in flatness measurement and, together with the mono-atomic steps, may soon be used as the basis for novel artifacts and standards in dimensional metrology. These smooth areas can also be produced on both sides of polished silicon wafers, i.e. with a discrete number of grating levels between opposite surfaces.  (Technology Offer 0440)


highest-grade step-height and surface flatness standards

suitable for the calibration of optical microscopes

Contact person for questions about technology transfer

Andreas Barthel,
Phone: +49 (0)531 592-8307,