Surface Profilometry

Surface Profilometry

Technique:

A) Surface morphological images showing parts of a metal surface having different wear (roughness) and B) a profile showing a thread having a pitch of ~0.7 mm and a height of 0.2 mm.

A) Surface morphological images showing parts of a metal surface having different wear (roughness) and B) a profile showing a thread having a pitch of ~0.7 mm and a height of 0.2 mm.

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 differences 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 measurements. By scanning a series of tracings, one can also obtain 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 measurements
  • 3D surface morphology for detection of defects and corrosion and general surface imaging

Selected Applications in Industry:

  • Monitoring of corrosion growth on metals
  • Measurement of thread pitch of a screw (millimeter scale)
  • Wearing on a steel modelling device (variation in roughness on different areas)
  • Membrane and fabric surface 3D morphology imaging
  • Reverse engineering of brightness enhancement films
  • Counter top defect imaging
  • SIMS sputter rate estimation