Alpha-Step® D-500 Stylus Profiler

High resolution 2D profiling, with the highest vertical range of 1200μm, sub-Angstrom resolution and low force (0.003 to 15mg) as standard. State of the art optical lever sensor technology ensures measurements are accurate and repeatable. The Alpha-Step D-500 includes a manual 140mm stage and advanced optics with enhanced video controls.



A global technology leader who make an impact by creating solutions that drive progress and transform industries. Collaboration is the key to their success. KLA provide leading-edge technology and devices using advanced inspection tools, metrology systems, and computational analytics. Their solutions accelerate tomorrow’s electronic devices. The enable evolution and innovation in the data era across key industries including automotive, mobile and data center.  


Key Features

  • Highest Vertical Range at 1200μm
  • Low Force Measurements at 0.03 to 15mg
  • Step Height Repeatability of 5Å on a 1μm step
  • Video: 5MP high-resolution color camera
  • Keystone Correction: Removes distortion due to side view optics
  • 140mm Manual Stage
  • Optical Lever Sensor
  • Compact Size: Smallest system footprint for a benchtop stylus profiler
  • Software: User friendly software interface

Accurate & Repeatable Surface Measurement

The Alpha-Step® D-500 Stylus Profiler offers impressive accuracy and repeatability in surface measurement, in a compact footprint and at an attractive price. Capable of performing 2D measurement of step height, roughness, bow, and stress, the Alpha-Step® D-500 has comprehensive capabilities for fundamental surface measurements. KLA’s cutting-edge optical lever sensor technology allows for a high vertical range, and low force operation with enhanced stylus force control. Optical lever sensor technology also improves repeatability when compared to conventional force coil systems. Powerful software algorithms build upon the Alpha-Step’s hardware platform, and provide arc correction as standard, eliminating sidewall effect.

A large range of materials can be effectively measured with stylus profilometry, regardless of material properties such as transparency. The low force measurement made possible by KLA’s technology allows delicate surfaces to be measured accurately and easily.

Enhanced High-Resolution Optics

The Alpha-Step® D-500 makes operating a stylus profiler easier by including a high resolution colour camera system. The camera features 4X digital zoom and flexible lighting controls. KLA’s software uses keystone correction algorithms to further enhance the D-500’s vision system. Keystone correction automatically corrects perspective distortions usually caused by side view options, providing an orthogonal view of a samples surface.

Shown left: Video from side view optics
Shown right: Video with keystone correction

2D Surface Measurement

A comprehensive range of 2D surface measurements are supported by the Alpha-Step® D-500. Featuring a 30mm scan length, measurement types include step height from nanometres to 1200μm, texture including roughness and waviness, and form including bow and shape. Scan stitching is possible up to 80mm in length. 2D stress measurement is also available as an additional option.

The Alpha-Step D-500 is ideally suited for semiconductor and compound semiconductor applications, such as thin film deposition and etching processes. Low force measurement is supported, enabling the measurement of soft or delicate materials, such as photoresists.

Product range

Alpha-Step® D-500
Alpha-Step® D-600
Tencor™ P-7
Tencor™ P-17 & P-17 OF
Tencor™ P-170


  • Step Height: 2D step height
  • Texture: 2D roughness and waviness
  • Form: 2D bow and shape
  • Stress: 2D thin film stress


  • Universities, research labs and institutes
  • Semiconductor and compound semiconductor
  • LED: Light emitting diodes
  • Solar
  • MEMS: Micro-electro-mechanical systems
  • Automotive
  • Medical devices

And more: Contact us with your requirements


Stylus Options

The Alpha-Step D-500 has a variety of styli available to support the measurement of step heights, high aspect ratio steps, roughness, sample bow, and stress. The tip radius ranges from 100nm to 50µm and determines the lateral resolution of the measurement. The included angle ranges from 20 to 100 degrees, specifies the maximum aspect ratio of the measured feature. All styli are manufactured from diamond to reduce wear and increase stylus lifetime.

Sample Chucks

The Alpha-Step D-500 has a range of chucks available to support application requirements. The standard chuck is nickel plated aluminum chuck for samples up to 140mm. A flat black chuck is available for transparent samples to minimize reflection from the chuck surface. A universal vacuum chuck is also offered and includes precision locating pins for samples from 50mm to 125mm. Both the standard and universal chucks support stress measurements with 3-point locators to hold the sample in a neutral position for accurate bow measurements.

Isolation Tables

The Alpha-Step D-500 has both tabletop and free-standing isolation table options. The Granite Isolator™ Series offers tabletop isolation systems that combine granite with high grade silicone gel to provide passive isolation. The Onyz Series tabletop isolation systems use pneumatic air isolators to provide passive isolation. The TMC 63-500 Series isolation table is a free-standing steel frame table that uses pneumatic air isolators to provide passive isolation.

Step Height Standards

The Alpha-Step D-500 uses thin and thick film NIST traceable step height standards offered by VLSI Standards. The standards feature an oxide step on a silicon die mounted on a quartz block. A step height range of 8nm to 250µm is available.

Apex Analysis Software

Apex analysis software enhances the standard data analysis capability of the D-500 with an extended suite of leveling, filtering, step height, roughness, and surface topography analysis techniques. Apex supports ISO roughness calculation methods, plus local standards such as ASME. Apex can also serve as a report writing platform with the capability to add text, annotations, and pass/fail criteria. Apex is offered in eight languages.

Offline Analysis Software

The Alpha-Step D-500 offline software has the same data analysis capability that exists on the tool. This enables the user to analyze data without using valuable tool time.


Alpha-Step® D-500 Stylus Profiler Brochure

Alpha-Step® D-500 Stylus Profiler Brochure

Alpha-Step® D-500 Stylus Profiler Specification Sheet

Alpha-Step® D-500 Stylus Profiler Specification Sheet

Benchtop Stylus Profilers Brochure

Benchtop Stylus Profilers Brochure

If you would like to learn more about the comprehensive surface measurement capabilities offered by the Alpha-Step® D-500 stylus profiler, contact our experienced technical team today. We would be happy to help you find the right profilometry solution for your needs. Contact us today!