P-7 Profilometer

Refer to the Material and Process Compatibility page for information on materials compatible with this tool.
Equipment Status
: Set as UP, PROBLEM, or DOWN, and report the issue date (MM/DD) and a brief description. Italicized fields will be filled in by BNC Staff in response to issues. See Problem Reporting Guide for more info.

Issue Date and Description

Estimated Fix Date and Comment

Responding Staff


iLab Name: P-7 Profilometer
iLab Kiosk: BRK Metrology Core

Owner: Rich Harlan
Cleanroom:  M-Bay
Maximum Wafer Size: 
150 mm


General Description

The KLA-Tencor P-7 Profiler measures step height, waviness and roughness of a surface.  It can accommodates up to 150mm (6") substrates, and measures vertical features ranging from the nanoscale to approximately 360 um.  Small samples may need to be adhered to a carrier wafer for measurement.

Standard Operating Procedure

This instruction covers the set-up and safe use of the KLA-Tencor P7 Stylus Profiler.  This machine is a stylus contact profiler capable of 150mm scan lengths with ~10Å resolution and ~20Å noise floor.  It is capable of measuring step height, roughness, and waviness on sample surfaces.

 The P7 Stylus profiler at Purdue is equipped with the standard head configuration:

  •  The MicroHead V SR (standard range) has a vertical range of 327 um, and is capable of scanning at forces between 0.5 and 2 mg.
  • The BNC unit has a 2 um radius tip with a 60° angle installed that limits the maximum force to 2mg
  • A manual theta stage with stops at 45° increments and a fine theta adjustment of + 5°.



1.1        Safety glasses must be worn whenever in the cleanroom, except when using a microscope or when wearing protective goggles.

1.2        Information regarding the hazardous materials used in the cleanroom may be found through MSDS documentation located in the gowning room.

1.3        Operate the P7 Stylus Profiler with all protective shields and doors in place.   

1.4        Do not reach into the tool except to place your sample on the chuck.  Do not put your hands under the scan head, or you may damage the stylus.



2.1        KLA-Tencor P7 Stylus Profiler

2.2        Floating isolation optical table

2.3        VLSI Standards:
             2.3.1    VLSI Step Height Standard, 23.00um
             2.3.2    VLSI Step Height Standard, 850A (85nm)



The performance of the tool is dependent upon proper operation by the user, and by not exceeding the tool capability. 

3.1        Do not try to measure samples that are too thick and too big in size for the instrument.

3.2        Do not measure step heights that are beyond the range of the instrument.

3.3        Do not move the stage with the stylus lower than the top of the sample surface.

3.4        Always scan left to right.  This protects the stylus.

 Sample size requirements/restrictions

  • Vertical range 0 to 327 um 
  • Substrate sizes from 3mm x 3mm up to 150mm in diameter.
  • 2 um radius diamond stylus with 60° cone angle
  • Maximum scan length of 150mm

 Material Limitations:

  • No uncured SU8
  • No uncured PDMS
  • No uncured photoresists
  • No soft materials that might stick to the stylus



4.1        Start the software

  • Enable the tool in iLab
  • Doubleclick the Profiler 8.0 icon.  The software will open up to the Catalog page.
  • Press the Scan Recipe button.

4.2        Choose an existing recipe by selecting a recipe then pressing View/Modify button.

              Or make a new recipe by pressing New button.


4.3        Press XY button to switch to camera mode:


4.4        Load Your Sample

  •               Press the MAN LOAD button, this will move the stage towards you.
  •               Once the stage has stopped, open the door.



4.5        Observe the 5 small vacuum ports near the center of the chuck, then:

  • Load your sample with extreme care, and place it in the exact center of the chuck.

 Note:  Keep your hand away from the stylus head to avoid damage to the instrument. 

  • Turn on the vacuum switch to keep your sample from sliding around.

    Note:  If your sample is so small that it does not fully cover all 5 vacuum ports, you will need to get creative:
      1. You can cover the vacuum ports with other small pieces of silicon or glass.
      2. You can mount your small sample to a larger carrier wafer that covers all the vacuum ports.

  • Close the door
  • Press MAN LOAD again to move the chuck into the measurement position.


4.6        Double check to make sure the sample is in the center of the stage.

4.7        Press FOCUS.  This will move the stylus head down to the surface of the sample

Note:          Please make sure you have a sample in the center of the stage prior to lowering the stylus head with the focus button.  If there is no sample, damage to the stylus will occur.
                   The movement of the stylus and measurement head can be stopped at any time by pressing the "Esc" key on the keyboard


4.8        Find your feature of interest:

    • You may click on the camera screen to drive the field of view, or you may press the arrow keys in the top menu bar to pan around.

 4.9        Once your feature is in view, click and drag (from left to right) to define your scan path. 

    • This shows up as a blue arrow.
    • Press OK when you are satisfied.


4.10           Review and configure your scan parameters.  There are a few key parameters to change:


Additional Scan Hints and Tips:

  • If you scan too fast, you may miss out on some roughness data, and might overshoot some step heights on the trailing edge of travel.
  • For short scans, 2mm and smaller, the general rule of thumb is to keep the scan time between 5 and 10 seconds.
  • The General Parameters tab, and the Roughness Waviness tab may be used to determine slope, area, roughness, and other parameters from your scan analysis.
  • If you need to adjust the scan path, you may press the XY button.


4.11      Once all your scanning parameters are set, press the START button in the top menu bar.



5.    Analyze the scan

After the scan completes, your data will display in the Analysis Window

5.1        Leveling your scan.

              If your data is not level, you may level it and define a flat plane in the software

    • Press the Level button.
    • Drag, pull, and manipulate the left and right Level cursors to define flat and even planes.
    • Press Level button again to flatten the selected planes.


5.2        Measuring your step height

    • Drag, pull, and manipulate the left and right Measure cursors to define the differential step
    • Read the difference in height between the two cursors with the St Height value at the left

5.3        Further Analysis

    • Press Stats button on the top menu bar to view General, Roughness, and Waviness parameters selected from the recipe editor.  Press Calc to recalculate these for a different selection.
    • Press the Apex Analysis button at the far left of the menu bar to use this powerful software.  From there, you may save your measurement as a plaintext or jpg/png file.

 5.4        To measure another area different from the first:

    • Press the XY button in the menu bar
    • Reselect your scan path with your blue area.  Press OK in the bottom right corner.
    • Confirm all your scan settings.

6.    Unload Your Sample

6.1        Press the MAN LOAD button.  This will raise the stylus head, and move the stage towards you.             

6.2        Open the door once the stage has stopped moving.             

6.3        Turn off the vacuum switch, and carefully remove your sample from the stage. 

6.4        Close the door. 

6.5        Press the MAN LOAD button again to return the stage to its home position. 

6.6        Exit out of the software at the end of your session. 

6.7        Disable use of the machine within i-Labs.





This is the newest SOP

For reference, this is the old procedure produced by Sean Rinehart


This is the P7 Control Chart: