Profilm3D® Optical Profiler | White Light Interferometry

Profilm3D® Optical Profiler | White Light Interferometry

The Profilm3D® optical profilometer is an affordable, non-contact, white light interferometry based (WLI) 3D surface topography measurement system. The latest generation of the white light interferometer includes new imaging modes that extend performance and value. The Profilm3D series measures nanometre- to millimetre-scale surface with a simple, flexible recipe setup, accommodating single scans or automated measurements on multiple sites to support both R&D and production environments.



Filmetrics was founded in 1995 with the mission of making thin-film measurements simple and affordable. Our approach, borne of the microelectronics and software revolution, results in film-thickness measurements that take less than a second - by operators who can be trained in minutes.

Key Features

  • Vertical scanning and phase shifting interferometry for measurement of surface features from nanometres to millimetres
  • TotalFocus 3D imaging with optimised focus for each pixel through the full measured range
  • True-Colour imaging produces the actual sample colours for enhanced visualisation, especially for subtle or buried features
  • Enhanced Roughness Mode (ERM) increases fringe contrast for improved fidelity on sloped surfaces such as lenses and enables signal improvement for rough surfaces
  • Automated focus with industry-leading long piezo travel range for scanning multiple surfaces separated by large height distances
  • Automated X-Y stage with a long travel range, great for mapping and stitching scans
  • Intuitive software suite including advanced Profilm desktop, the cloud-based ProfilmOnline and mobile applications for flexible data storage, visualisation and analysis
  • High quality measurement data
  • Powerful tool capabilities
  • 500µm Z piezo travel

Product Description

The Filmetrics Profilm3D white light interferometer generate high-resolution measurements of the surface topography with sub-nanometre-level resolution. The tools support both vertical scanning and phase shifting interferometry.

Using TotalFocus® technology, Profilm3D provides stunning 3D natural colour images with every pixel in focus. The latest generation of the Profilm3D white light interferometer introduces enhanced roughness imaging for measuring rougher surfaces, higher slopes and lower reflectivity surfaces.

In the Profilm3D measurement technique, the vertical resolution of the measurement is independent of the numerical aperture of the objective, enabling high-resolution measurements with a large field of view. The measured area can be further increased by stitching multiple fields of view into a single measurement. The Profilm3D optical profilometer also features a simple, innovative user interface and automated features to support a broad range of working environments, from R&D to production.

Our Profilm® software suite features cutting-edge cloud-based ProfilmOnline® web services, Android and iOS mobile applications, and advanced Profilm desktop software to provide flexible data storage, visualization and analysis solutions.

Enhanced Roughness Mode (ERM)

A drawback to using traditional white light interferometry (WLI) for measurement of rough surfaces is a low fringe contrast leading to a low signal-to-noise ratio. Phase shifting interferometry (PSI), another technique traditionally used to measure rough surfaces, has a maximum vertical range of measurement that may be insufficient to measure enhanced roughness on a surface.

The new Enhanced Roughness Mode on the Profilm3D addresses both these challenges by providing a high fringe contrast needed for improved fidelity on sloped surfaces and a greater than 70 percent signal improvement on rough surfaces. Below are several instances of applications that benefit greatly from a Profilm3D profiler, including a detailed explanation of a solar device measurement application.

New Generation Profilm3D Measures Larger Variations on a Single Surface With Fine Detail

The newest generation of the Filmetrics Profilm3D optical profiler is designed to specifically address the challenges where larger variations in surface topography and reflectivity require resolution of fine detail. The Profilm3D is uniquely suited for applications like these because the combination of new optical techniques enables measurement with a single tool requiring no change in setup. In this feature, we highlight the applications and benefits of two such optical techniques available on the new Profilm3D – the Enhanced Roughness Mode and TotalFocus™ Imaging.

TotalFocus™ Infinite Depth-of-Field Imaging

With a traditional microscope, it is impossible to simultaneously focus each pixel across the entire field of view. The new Profilm3D’s TotalFocus™ mode utilizes the 3D measurement data of a surface to produce an image with every pixel in focus, resulting in crisp, clear high-magnification images.

Pictured: The Profilm3D’s TotalFocus mode produces images where every pixel is in focus, so the highly varying topography of this coin, from the very top of the image to the smooth background surface, is clearly resolved.

Benefits of ERM in Solar Device Manufacturing

Solar devices use photovoltaic technology that absorb incoming sunlight to convert to electrical energy. This is typically done by including aluminium (Al) to enhance conductivity, as it is resistant to oxidation in outdoor environments. The solar cells are also typically coated with a silicon (Si) or gallium arsenide (GaAs) substrate, which helps reduce its surface reflectivity. For optimum performance of a solar device, one needs to closely monitor the dimensions of the deposited Al lines as well as the surface roughness of the substrate (Si or GaAs) to ensure uniformity. Rapid measurement of both surface roughness and critical dimension are possible with the newest Filmetrics® Profilm3D which combines key technological advances to enable measurement of even the most challenging optical elements on a solar device. Using ERM, the Profilm3D captures a higher fraction of the low reflectivity and rough texture signals without saturating the optical detector. This approach provides a more accurate measurement of both the textured surface and the dimensional variation of the metallization lines. Multiple adjacent images of the solar cell area are easily combined into a single large-area measurement that can be quickly analysed, showcasing the power and flexibility of the optical profiler for process monitoring, characterization and R&D.

Pictured: The Profilm3D’s new Enhanced Roughness Mode quickly and simultaneously resolves both the low reflectivity Si surface and the structure and texture of the high contrast aluminium lines.

Intuitive Profilm & Profilm Online Analysis Software

Filmetrics’ Profilm software is a fully featured and intuitive to use software package for viewing and analysing Profilm3D images. The Profilm3D is also fully supported by ProfilmOnline, a cloud-based software platform providing access to profiler images and data from anywhere – even on a smartphone or tablet. ProfilmOnline can also be used to share images and collaborate on analysing data with other users.

Benefits of TotalFocus™ Imaging in MEMS, Micromachining and 3D Printing

MEMS, micromachining and 3D printing applications commonly feature large variations in the Z plane and often require measurements larger than a single field of view, especially at higher magnifications. They may also have combinations of material reflectivity or unusual surface contours that are challenging to measure with a single experiment recipe. Instead of having to use multiple scans or tools, the Profilm3D uses a simultaneous measurement technique that combines the detail of TotalFocus™ with the speed of interferometry to produce a single 3D measurement image. This technique is robust enough to measure various parameters including low reflectivity, high slope, rough, and large step samples, thus providing the ideal measurement method that is best suited to any given sample type.

Pictured: The Profilm3D is used in metal finishing and tooling, such as for the critical calibration of a dicing saw where cut depths into a piezoelectric material are quantified. The system can also be used to simultaneously measure surface roughness and critical dimensions of machined components.

Ceramic Surface

Drag to rotate the Profilm3D image and scroll to zoom. For a more complete analysis simply click here to view it with ProfilmOnline®- a free web-based program for viewing analyzing and sharing images from any 3D profilometer or AFM!

Dicing-Saw Test Cuts

Drag to rotate the Profilm3D image and scroll to zoom. For a more complete analysis simply click here to view it with ProfilmOnline® - a free web-based program for viewing analyzing and sharing images from any 3D profilometer or AFM!

Fresnel Lens

Drag to rotate the Profilm3D image and scroll to zoom. For a more complete analysis simply click here to view it with ProfilmOnline® - a free web-based program for viewing analyzing and sharing images from any 3D profilometer or AFM!


  • Universities, research labs and institutes
  • Silicon and compound semiconductor
  • Precision optics and mechanics
  • Medical devices
  • LED: Light emitting diodes
  • Power devices
  • MEMS: Micro-electromechanical systems
  • Data storage
  • Automotive

And more: Contact us with your requirements


Step height: 3D step height from nanometers to millimeters

The Filmetrics Profilm3D series white light interferometry-based profilometers support non-contact measurement of 3D step heights from nanometre to millimetre scales. Vertical scanning interferometry can measure a large step height with nanometre-level resolution. Sub-nanometre-level features can be measured rapidly using phase-shifting interferometry. Z-stitching interferometry enables rapid measurement of very large steps with multiple high-resolution scans that are combined into a single measurement. This variety of techniques enables users to quantify the amount of material removed or deposited by semiconductor processes such as etch, sputter, deposition, spin coating and more.

Texture 3D roughness and waviness

The Filmetrics Profilm3D series optical profilers provide non-contact measurements of 3D texture, quantifying the sample’s roughness and waviness. Phase-shifting mode is ideal for very smooth surfaces. Software filters separate the measurement into roughness and waviness components and calculate parameters such as root mean square (RMS) roughness.

Form: Bow and Shape

The Filmetrics Profilm3D series non-contact, white light interferometry-based profilers can measure the 3D shape or bow of a surface. This capability can be used to measure the radius of curvature of a lens or the shape of a medical implant, such as a hip joint or stent.


The Filmetrics Profilm3D series optical profilometers with TotalFocus capture True Colour 3D images with every pixel in focus. This feature can be used to distinguish boundaries between materials with different optical properties.


3D and Flash Printing

The Profilm3D easily measures this silkscreen print on machined stainless steel. Measure thickness and uniformity of the printing layer and characterise delamination, coverage uniformity and surface roughness. The Profilm3D design offers easy sample setup and software interface to streamline manufacturing and QC process monitoring.

Metal Finishing / Micromachining / Tooling

The Profilm3D can be used in metal finishing and tooling, such as for the critical calibration of a dicing saw where cut depths into a piezoelectric material are quantified. The system also simultaneously measures surface roughness and critical dimensions of machined components.


Backend packaging bump coplanarity is critical to ensure optimised bonding, and the Profilm3D quickly generates measurements of coplanarity, pitch uniformity, size, and more. Other applications include mask manufacturing, laser marking, photoresist patterning, and other R&D and process qualification.


This scan shows a miniaturised Fresnel lens that was created by electron beam lithography. For steep surfaces such as lenses, the Profilm3D in Enhanced Roughness mode can now measure up to 60°of slope.


The Profilm3D is well suited to measurement of biological samples, such as this Tetraphenylprophyrin (TPP) thin film on glass. The TPP was imaged with the 50X Mirau objective at 2x zoom, and the film displays growth of crystalline structures. This image was generated with TotalFocus® colour technology, showing the actual colours of the sample.



Profilm3D Optical Profiler Brochure 2023

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Profilm3D Series

The Filmetrics Profilm3D white light interferometer features motorized X-Y and Z stages with 100mm travel and a manual tip/tilt stage. The system supports phase shifting and vertical scanning interferometry for high-resolution 3D surface topography measurements. The Filmetrics Profilm3D-200 white light interferometer includes the same features as the Profilm3D but adds a larger motorized X-Y stage supporting 200mm by 200mm of travel.

Profilm Software Suite

The Filmetrics Profilm software package is comprehensive, intuitive, fast and user-friendly. 3D data operations and analysis functions such as leveling, filtering, step height, roughness, and surface topography analysis techniques are included in the basic configuration. Profilm supports ISO roughness calculation methods, plus local standards, such as ASME. Data from Profilm can be uploaded to the ProfilmOnline platform with a single click for easy, secure data storage and sharing.

Profilm Online Web Application

Filmetrics ProfilmOnline is a cloud-based 3D data visualization and analysis platform developed as part of the Profilm software suite. ProfilmOnline is the place to share, store, view and analyze 3D data, whether you’re on your computer or a mobile device. Apps for Android and iOS operating systems are available and a wide variety of file formats is supported. Data can be encrypted for security.

Objective Lenses

The four-position turret holds objective lenses with magnifications ranging from 5x to 100x, to support nano-, micro- and macro-topography applications. The 5x objective is a Michaelson interferometry objective. The 10x, 20x, 50x, and 100x objectives are Mirau interferometry objectives.


Motorised stages for the X-Y and Z axes are standard on the Profilm3D system. The X-Y stage has a travel of 100mm by 100mm for Profilm3D, and 200mm by 200mm for Profilm3D-200. The Z stage has a range of 100mm. The travel along all axes of motion is programmable. A manual tip and tilt stage are standard with ±5° of motion. A manual R-theta wafer stage is also available on Profilm3D series optical profilometers, supporting 50mm- to 200mm-diameter wafers. In addition, the Profilm3D-200 supports an adapter for holding up to 200mm wafers.

Isolation Tables

The Filmetrics Profilm3D series offers Accurion Nano30 Series active tabletop vibration isolation systems, which use electro-dynamic drive active vibration isolation in all six degrees of freedom.

Step Height Standards

The Filmetrics Profilm3D series includes a custom-designed Cr on Si 10µm step height standard, consisting of an etched step with a chrome coating. A multi-step height standard is also available as an option, featuring 0.1µm, 2µm and 4µm steps.

Service Support

Comprehensive repairs and servicing

Annual Support Programs

Your metrology instrumentation is a major investment that is critical to your business operation and success. In today’s competitive climate, it is more important than ever to extend the functionality and peak performance of your metrology equipment years beyond the expiration of your factory warranty. CN Tech’s Support Programs will help ensure that your investment is protected, and that you and your instrument’s are always operating at peak performance.

With over 20 years’ experience servicing and repairing you can be assured that your system is in safe hands. The independent services we offer include system relocation, maintenance visits, parts and consumables, and break down interventions.

CN Tech’s Support Programs are an economical way to guarantee optimal working condition:

  • Annual Preventive Maintenance
  • Priority Technical Assistance
  • Preferred Parts Availability
  • On-Site User Training
  • Remote Diagnostics
  • No surprise repair expense and much more!

Support Contact Example

An example of our service and support contracts are shown below:


Metrology & Instrumentation Annual Support Programs 2022/23

CN Tech's Support Programs will help ensure that your investment is protected, and that you and your instrument’s are always operating at peak performance.

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