Nanoscale Characterization Facility - Indiana University, Department of Chemistry

Surface Profiler


The KLA Tencor P7 profiler is an instrument that is capable of making advanced small-scale measurements on a variety of substrates.  Measurements of thick and thin film heights, surface topography, surface waviness and surface roughness, among other things, can be easily carried out on micro- and nanostructures using this instrument.  The P7 utilizes a 2 micron radius diamond-tipped stylus to measure these small features.  A precision x-y stage moves the sample under the stylus, and vertical displacements in the stylus are converted into an electrical signal corresponding to the dimensions of the feature(s).  These electrical signals are then converted to a digital format where they can be displayed on a computer screen and manipulated to determine various analytical information about the substrate.  Scan length and scan speed can be fine-tuned to increase or decrease analysis time and resolution.  Additionally, the stylus force can be varied to be compatible with either hard or soft surfaces.  Below are some technical specifications of the P7 Profiler.


Stage: automated X,Y and manual Theta

Repeatability: 4 Å

Scan Flatness: lower than 40 nm over a 30 mm long scan

Scan Length: up to 150 mm

Vertical Range:  1 nm up to 1 mm

Vertical Resolution (at various ranges):   0.1 Å (13 micron range), 0.2 Å (100 micron range)

Scan Speed Range:   variable, 5 Hz to 2000 Hz sample rate

Stylus Force: 0.03 to 15 mg


The instrument usage is $10 per hour. The users must log into the individual Excel sheet prior to using the instrument for billing purposes.

Research Examples


Yi Yi

C307 Chemistry