Surface Profilometry

Surface Profilometry

Technique:
Surface Science Western has a mechanical stylus surface profiler that measures the surface topographical features by maintaining a selectable constant contact force so that the stylus has to go up and down according to the surface profiles. The stylus comprises a tungsten tip with a diamond embedded at its apex (radius ~ 2 micrometers). The contact force between the stylus and the sample surface is sensed by a capacitance displacement sensor. The applied stylus force can be selected within 1 – 50 mg (or 10 – 50 μN). The profiler has three height dynamic ranges, allowing us to measure height difference from 5 nm to 0.3 mm. The instrument can handle samples as large as 8 inches in diameter and as heavy as 2 kg.

The applications of the instrument cover roughness and waviness estimation and step height measurement. By scanning a series of tracings, one also obtains a 3D topographic image of the surface, from which any scan lines can be isolated for analysis.

Instrument:
KLA Tencor P-10 Surface Profiler

System Capabilities:

  • Roughness quantification for surface finishing evaluation
  • SIMS crater depth measurement
  • Thickness measurement for thin metal and polymer films
  • Radius of curvature
  • 3D surface morphology for detection of defects and corrosion

Selected Applications in Industry:

  • A standard grating sample (26 nm height and 3.0 μm pitch)
  • Measurement of thread of a screw (millimeter scale)
  • Wearing on a steel modeling device (variation in roughness on different areas)
  • Membrane surface and fabric surface
  • Counter top defects
  • SIMS sputter rate estimation