Surface Science Western has a mechanical stylus surface profilometer with the stylus comprising a tungsten wire with a diamond tip (radius ~ 2 µm) embedded at its apex. The contact force (usually a couple of milligrams) between the tip and the sample surface is sensed by a capacitance displacement sensor. By maintaining a constant contact force, the feedback system adjusts the position of the tip according to the height of the surface scanned, thus generating a profile of the surface.
With a noise level of a couple of nanometers and three height ranges (13, 131 and 1048 µm), our profilometer allows us to measure height differences from 5 nm to 1 mm. The instrument can handle samples as large as 8 inches in diameter and as heavy as 5 lbs.
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.
KLA-Tencor P-17 Surface Profiler
Selected Applications in Industry: