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Optical Profilometry

Optical profilometry (OP) is a non-contact interferometric-based method for characterizing surface topography. A typical OP analysis provides 2D and 3D images of a surface, numerous roughness statistics, and feature dimensions. In addition to these standard measurements, EAG can also perform many advanced OP analyses with a state-of-the-art Bruker Contour GTX-8 3D optical microscope. These include:

  • Analysis automation for high-throughput measurements of several hundred features on a single sample, such as patterned wafers or die features
  • Thickness determination of transparent, continuous films.

OP is suitable for numerous applications and sample types because it can accommodate many sample geometries, offering a wide range of possible analytical dimensions and a versatile Z-range, covering a broad range of potential surface roughnesses. EAG is committed to working with our clients to develop unique approaches for characterizing the topographies of even the most challenging samples.

Ideal Uses
  • Step height and dimensional measurement
  • Characterizing wear and friction of mechanical parts
  • Determining consistency of solder bump heights, e.g. on flip chips and other advanced packaging
  • Correlating roughness measurements with materials properties, e.g. adhesion, corrosion, appearance
  • Measuring the radius of curvature of microfluidic channels, optics, etc.
  • Assessing bow on coated/processed wafers, e.g. MEMS fabrication
  • Quantifying thickness of continuous, transparent films (i.e. no physical step is needed)
  • High-throughput screening of multiple features on a die or wafer
Technical Specifications

Lateral Resolution: 0.5μm (best)
Height Resolution: 0.01nm (PSI) or 6nm (VSI)
Maximum feature height: 10mm
Minimum image size: 0.06×0.047mm2
Maximum image size: 2.2×1.1mm2 (single image); 70x70mm2 (stitched images)
Maximum sample size: 300mm diameter, 100lbs weight, 4″/100mm height
Film Thickness: Between 150µm and 2µm thick

Strengths
  • Wide range of possible analysis areas, feature heights, and roughness statistics
  • Accommodates very large and very small sample sizes
  • Non-destructive/non-contact
  • Fast, therefore good for multiple repeat measurements
Limitations
  • Potential for optical artifacts on certain sample types
  • Poor signal detection for very steep and rough surfaces
  • Films must be transparent and of known refractive index for continuous film thickness measurements