Profilometer – KLA Tencor P-17

Elisa Sogne, Chiara Nava
Authorized user


The P-17 Profiler is a surface profiler that measures step height, roughness, and waviness on sample surfaces. Roughness can be measured with up to a 0.5 Å resolution over short distances. Waviness can be measured over the entire surface of a sample. The P-17 system uses stylus-based scanning to achieve high resolution and can correlate local submicron features with global surface measurements. It has a 200 mm sample vacuum holder.

Working principle

To scan a surface, a Profiler user sets up a ‘scan recipe’ to specify the ‘scan parameters’ such as length, speed, sampling rate, and the force to be applied on the sample surface. A slow scan speed will drastically affect throughput, whereas a fast scan speed may cause the stylus to bounce and lose contact with the surface. Detailed information about the effects of the different parameters settings can be found in the manual.


  • Repeatable vertical resolution 1.7 Å (spec.)
  • Minimum measurable features size 0.25 μm
  • Horizontal resolution limited by 2 um stylus tip radius
  • Measures steps from 100 Å to 325 μm Maximum sample thickness around 2 cm
  • 3D capability for topography mapping
  • Typical operating parameters: 200 μm/s scan speed, 50 Hz sampling rate, 2 mg down force