1990s

Optical Profilers Timeline of Innovation

1999

ADE Phase Shift releases the MicroXAM optical profiler, with Angstrom-level sensitivity in phase shifting interferometry for super smooth surfaces and vertical scanning interferometry for samples with larger step heights.

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Profilm3D® Profilm3D-200

2000s
2006

KLA acquires ADE Corporation, adding the first MicroXAM-100 optical profiler to KLA’s benchtop metrology portfolio, along with substrate geometry and defect inspection solutions for the semiconductor market.

2010s
2010

The Zeta-20 is the first product release from Zeta Instruments.

The Zeta-20 is the industry’s first optical profilometer to use ZDot, a patented technique that combines structured-illumination, confocal optics to generate high-resolution, 3D surface topography data and a True Color image of the surface. This technique enables users to easily focus on any transparent or opaque surface, for fast measurements of step heights and roughness. Multi-mode optics expand the capability of the non-contact 3D surface profiler by combining ZDot with white light interferometry, shearing interferometry, a transparent thin film reflectometer, and automated defect inspection.

2010

The Zeta-200 releases with an automated X-Y stage and new functionality that supports LED applications.

The Zeta-200 optical profiler takes advantage of a high-transmission optics design, backside illumination and proprietary algorithms to measure Patterned Sapphire Substrates (PSS). The system can accommodate a variety of PSS bump shapes, measuring the height and pitch of all PSS bumps in the field of view, thus avoiding false bump signatures or results skewed by measuring only a small area. With multi-mode optics, the system is also able to measure thin film thickness and sample bow during PSS manufacturing. Finally, with automated defect inspection, the Zeta-200 can identify defects such as missing bumps, scratches, and particles.

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Zeta-300

2011

The Zeta-280 adds a single cassette, benchtop handler to the Zeta-200 platform.

2011

The new Zeta-300 profilometer supports measurement of devices with larger X-Y and Z dimensions. The system is isolated from environmental noise with an integrated isolation table and an acoustic isolation enclosure.

2012

Microfluidic device support is released on the Zeta-20 utilizing ZDot and the transparent, multi-surface measurement application.

The Zeta-20 uses ZDot technology and the multi-surface application to provide an innovative measurement solution for encapsulated microfluidic devices. The high-transmission optics design allows the ZDot signal to remain strong even after passing through multiple layers. This enables measurement of the thickness of the cover plate, channel depth, and the dimensions of the control structures within the microfluidic channel before and after encapsulating the device with cover glass. Measuring after encapsulation is critical since encapsulation can change the channel and control structure shape, impacting the performance of the device.

2012

The Zeta-380 combines the benchtop handler from the Zeta-280 with the Zeta-300 platform.

2014

The MicroXAM-800 combines the best hardware and algorithms from the Ambios and ADE Phase Shift interferometry platforms with new, innovative, easy-to-use software for automated measurements of step height and roughness.

2015

The Zeta-20 releases with enhanced performance that address the unique challenges of the solar industry.

The Zeta-20 provides innovative solutions for the solar industry to measure 3D surface topography of the texture process and metal contact lines. Texture measurements are critical to control the pyramid structures’ height, shape, and size distribution, impacting the light capture efficiency of the solar cell. The silver contact lines are deposited with a silk screen process, resulting in large variations in the width, height, volume and electrical resistance of the contact line, as well as the cost of the device. The High Dynamic Range measurement mode was developed to address materials with very different reflectivities. For solar cell manufacturing, High Dynamic Range mode is required to measure the silver contact lines deposited on the pyramid texture with an antireflective coating.

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Zeta-20 optical profilometer

2015

The Zeta-360 and first-generation Zeta-388 products provide new options for automated wafer handling capability on the Zeta platform.

2016

The Profilm3D optical profiler is launched, providing an affordable interferometry-based 3D surface topography measurement solution.

Incorporating design optimizations from its successful thin film reflectometer product line, Filmetrics® develops an affordable, easy-to-use optical profiler with multiple imaging techniques to address a wide variety of applications, including film thickness, surface roughness, step height, and topography.

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Profilm3D®

2017

Zeta Instruments joins the KLA Instruments group, expanding KLA’s optical profilometer product line, adding ZDot and multi-mode measurement technology. The Zeta series support R&D, production, and fully automated cassette-to-cassette environments for the measurement of 3D surface topography.

2018

The Filmetrics ProfilmOnline® software enables users to store, share, and analyze 3D data without the need for a desktop computer.

Leveraging the capabilities of web browsers and powerful smart phones, Filmetrics launches the world’s only web application dedicated to the online storing, viewing, and analyzing of 3D topographical data, like those acquired by optical profilers, scanning probe microscopes (such as AFMs), and other 3D imaging microscopes. Users can seamlessly upload data from their Filmetrics Profilm3D optical profilometer with a single click, analyze them, and share the image and measurement results with colleagues. Dedicated phone and tablet applications allow users to view their data on any device, from any location.

2018

The Zeta-388 wins the 2018 Compound Semiconductor industry metrology award for patterned sapphire substrate (PSS) applications.

2018

TotalFocusTM capability is added to the Profilm3D, providing 3D natural color images of their sample surface with every pixel in focus.

2019

The Zeta-388 is the latest generation optical profiler with cassette-to-cassette wafer handling capability.

With the addition of automated wafer handling capability, new data analysis software, and support for SECS/GEM, the Zeta-388 is designed for fully automated measurements within a production fab. Fast, high-resolution measurement of shallow steps is now possible with the addition of phase shifting interferometry and new automated multi-cursor data analysis. Fully automated measurement of deep, high aspect ratio trenches is enhanced with new light sources. The system provides production-worthy process control measurements, such as bump height on patterned sapphire substrates, roughness, and step height.

2019

Filmetrics joins the KLA Instruments group and becomes Filmetrics, A KLA Company. The Filmetrics series of thin-film measurement instruments expands KLA’s benchtop metrology capabilities into measurement of film thickness, n, and k. The Filmetrics Profilm3D optical profiler extends the line of KLA instruments that measure surface topography, providing a new option for applications that don’t require the full capabilities of KLA’s existing instruments.

2020s
2020

The Profilm3D-200 features a motorized stage with 200mm travel and an adapter for 200mm diameter wafers.

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