Tencor™ P-170 Stylus Profiler

The leading-edge surface profilometry technology of the KLA P-17, combined with a production-proven wafer handling system makes the P-170 a high-performance solution for 24x7 production environments. Supports a wide range of automated measurements from a few nanometres to one millimetre. The system supports 2D and 3D measurements of step heights, roughness, bow, and stress for scans up to 200mm without stitching with advanced pattern recognition algorithms, enhanced optics, and an advanced stage for robust performance and seamless recipe transportability between systems.



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 centre.

Key Features

  • Step Height Nanometres to 1000µm
  • Low force with constant force control: 0.03 to 50mg
  • Scan full diameter of the sample without stitching
  • Video: 5MP high-resolution colour camera
  • Arc correction: Removes error due to arc motion of the stylus
  • Software: Easy-to-use software interface
  • Production capability: Fully automated with sequencing, pattern recognition and SECS/GEM
  • Wafer handler: Automatically loads 75mm through 200mm opaque (e.g., silicon) and transparent (e.g., sapphire) samples
  • 2D & 3D Measurements Including Stress

Automatic Sample Handling & Inspection

The KLA P-170 Stylus Profiler combines the marketing leading measurement technology of the P-17 with the production proven HRP®-260 automated sample handling system. This combination makes the P-170 a powerful and flexible solution for inspection applications in the semiconductor, compound semiconductor, and other related industries. The sample handling system supports up to two cassette stations, and samples between 75mm and 200mm in diameter, with fully automatic handling.

A comprehensive set of automation features are available with the P-170, including defect review, sequencing, pattern recognition, and integration with SECS/GEM and HSMS. KLA’s Pattern recognition algorithms provide automatic sample alignment, enhancing measurement stability and reducing operator error. Automation recipes are fully transportable between systems.

High Measurement Repeatability

With over 40 years of experience developing surface metrology technology, the UltraLite® sensor used in KLA’s P-170 is highly advanced, with excellent measurement speed and accuracy. The UltraLite® sensor features constant force control, which improves measurement stability, and enables the accurate measurement of soft materials such as photoresist. The UltraLite® technology also provides market leading measurement repeatability, with a step height repeatability of 4Å on a 1μm step. A high vertical resolution and range, from nanometres to 1000μm, allows the UltraLite® sensor to provide unprecedented detail and clarity in surface measurements. The wide Z range allows for greater flexibility when measuring samples with large variations in topography.

Unmatched Scan Length Of 200mm

The P-170’s automatic stage is able to perform long scans across the full 200mm diameter of the stage, in a single continuous scan without the need for scan stitching. The full diameter of sample wafers can be measured in a single scan. With a 200mm long scan length the P-170 is a market leader, and provides unmatched accuracy and efficiency.

Comprehensive 2D & 3D Measurement Capabilities

The P-170 offers a fully featured range of 2D and 3D measurements suitable for production environments. Step height can be measured with a vertical range from nanometres to 1000µm. Detailed 3D topographies can be produced for surface visualisation and defect review. The UltraLite® sensor’s constant force control allows for accurate measurement of soft materials.

2D and 3D measurements of texture, including roughness and waviness, and 2D surface bow and shape measurements are also supported. The P-170 can also be configured for measuring 2D and 3D stress for samples with multiple layers. With the P-170’s motorised 200mm stage, 2D stress measurement can be measured in a single scan across the diameter of a sample without stitching. 3D stress uses a series of 2D scans, rotating the stage between scans.

Shown left: 3D Surface Topography
Shown right: 3D Stress Mapping


  • Semiconductor
  • Compound semiconductor
  • LED: Light emitting diodes
  • MEMS: Micro-electro-mechanical systems
  • Data storage
  • Automotive

And more: Contact us with your requirements


Step Height: 2D and 3D step height

The Tencor P-170 is capable of measuring 2D and 3D step heights from nanometres to 1000µm. This enables quantification of material deposited or removed during etch, sputter, deposition, spin coating, CMP and other processes. The Tencor P-170 has constant force control that dynamically adjusts to apply the same force on the sample surface, regardless of step height. This results in good measurement stability and enables accurate measurement of soft materials, such as photoresist.

Texture: 2D and 3D roughness and waviness

The Tencor P-170 measures 2D and 3D texture, quantifying the sample’s roughness and waviness. Software filters separate the measurement into the roughness and waviness components and calculate parameters, such as the root mean square (RMS) roughness.

Form: 2D and 3D bow and shape

The Tencor P-170 can measure the 2D shape or bow of a surface. This includes measurement from wafer bow that can result from mismatch between layers during device fabrication, such as deposition of multiple layers for the production of semiconductor or compound semiconductor devices. The Tencor P-170 can also quantify the height and radius of curvature of structures, such as a lens.

Stress: 2D and 3D thin film stress

The Tencor P-170 can measure the stress induced during the manufacture of devices with multiple process layers, such as semiconductor or compound semiconductor devices. The bow of the sample is accurately measured using a stress chuck to support the sample in a neutral position. The change in shape from a process, such as film deposition, is then used to calculate the stress by applying Stoney’s equation. 2D stress is measured with a single scan across the sample diameter for samples up to 200mm without the need to stitch. 3D stress is measured using a combination of 2D scans, with the theta stage rotating between scans to measure the full sample surface.

Defect review: 2D and 3D defect surface topography

Defect Review is used to measure the topography of defects, such as the depth of a scratch. Defect inspection tools identify defects and write the location coordinates to a KLARF file. The Defect Review feature reads the KLARF file, aligns the sample, and allows the user to select defects for 2D or 3D measurement.



Tencor™ P-170 Stylus Profiler Brochure

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Technical Specifications

Tencor™ P-170 Stylus Profiler Specification Sheet

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Stylus Options

The Tencor P-170 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 40nm to 50µm and determines the lateral resolution of the measurement. The included angle ranges from 20 to 100 degrees, which 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 Tencor P-170 has a range of chucks available to support application requirements. The standard is a vacuum chuck with support for measuring samples from 75 to 200mm. A stress chuck is available with 3-point locators to support the sample in a neutral position for accurate bow measurements. Additional options for bowed wafer sample handling are available.

Handler Options

The Tencor P-170 handler includes an aligner for opaque wafers (e.g., GaAs) and a cassette station for 200mm wafers. Options include transparent sample alignment (e.g., sapphire), smaller sample sizes ranging from 75mm to 150mm, a second cassette station, a cassette slot mapper, a signal tower, and an ionizer.

Isolation Tables

The Tencor P-170 is configured with the TMC 68-500 Series free-standing isolation table, which uses air isolators to provide passive isolation. This is a custom isolation table that meets SEMI S8 ergonomic requirements, placing the keyboard, mouse, monitor, and cassette station at the correct ergonomic height.

Step Height Standards

The Tencor P-170 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, or an etched quartz step with a chrome coating. 200mm wafer based step height standards are also available. A step height range of 8nm to 250µm is available.

Apex Analysis Software

Apex analysis software enhances the standard data analysis capability of the Tencor P-170 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 Tencor P-170 offline software has the same data analysis and recipe creation capability that exists on the tool. This enables the user to create recipes and analyse data without using valuable tool time.

Pattern Recognition

Pattern recognition uses pre-taught patterns to automatically align the sample. This enables fully automated measurements for enhanced measurement stability by reducing the impact of operator error. Pattern recognition combined with advanced calibrations reduces stage positioning error and enables seamless transfer of recipes between systems.


SECS/GEM and HSMS communications support factory automation systems and enable remote control of the Tencor P-170. Measurements results are automatically reported to host SPC systems, plus alarms and key calibration/configuration data. The Tencor P-170 is compliant with SEMI standards E4, E5, E30, and E37.

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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