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Stylus Profilometer

A mechanical or stylus profilometer is a measuring instrument used to measure a surface's profile, in order to quantify its surface topography.

A diamond stylus tip is moved laterally across the sample for a specified distance and specified contact force while it is kept in contact with the sample.

The small variations in the vertical movement of the stylus according to the position are measured and recorded simultaneously during the scanning, revealing the topographical structure of the surface sample.

A typical profilometer can measure small vertical features ranging in height from few nanometres up to 1mm with nanometric accuracy. The radius of diamond stylus ranges from 20 nanometres to 50μm, and the horizontal resolution is controlled by the scan speed and data signal sampling rate. The stylus tracking force can range from less than 1 to 50 milligrams.

Technical specifications

Manufacturer: KLA Tencor Inc.
Model: Alphastep D500

  • 2μm diamond tip stylus
  • Vertical resolution: 1nm
  • Vertical measurement range: 1nm to 1.2mm
  • Scan size: up to 30mm
  • Force range: 0.03mg to 15mg
  • Manual X-Y stage, up to 4” wafer size
  • Microscope camera for positioning

The Stylus Profilometer has received funds from the CENanoTech project. In turn, the CENanoTech project (ref.: 2015 FEDER/S-16) is funded through the call for the development of R&D infrastructures launched by the Regional Ministry of Economy and Knowledge, of the Generalitat de Catalunya, with funding received from the European Regional Development Fund. The project has also been co-funded by the Severo Ochoa Programme granted by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness.



Associated Groups/Units

Stylus Profilometer

Stylus Profilometer