Zeta Optical Profiler


Optical Profilers


KLA’s Zeta non-contact optical profilometers integrate six powerful optical measurement methods into a fully configurable and easy-to-use system.

Thanks to the combination of different methods, almost any surface can be imaged reliably and with high resolution: from very smooth to very rough, from very low to very highly reflective, transparent or opaque. Even multilayer systems with layer thicknesses in the nm to mm range are no problem.

The Zeta systems offer unsurpassed versatility.


ZDotTM Technology

The patented ZDot™ technology allows our non-contact optical profilers to measure surfaces that other systems can’t even see.

  • Very rough surfaces
  • Very dark surfaces
  • Deep trenches
  • Multilayer transparent surfaces

The Zeta systems have an advanced illumination unit and an optical design that is significantly more efficient than a conventional microscope. A precise focusing pattern, the ZDots, is integrated within the illumination path. These enable the system to detect the surface reliably and accurately (even very rough or very dark surfaces). This innovative optical design in combination with the proprietary algorithms results in a very flexible system that is very tolerant to the variation of the sample surface without loss of resolution.

Typical optical parameters

Lens magnifications:  2.5X to 150X
Image field size:          9 mm – 45 µm
Z resolution:                maximum 10 nm in standard ZDot mode


The product range includes the following devices:

Zeta-20 / True Color 3D Optical Profilometer

The optical profilometer Zeta-20 is a non-contact 3D surface topography measuring system. The core components are the patented ZDot™ technology and the multi-mode optics, which enable the measurement of a large number of samples: transparent and opaque, low to highly reflective, smooth to rough and step heights from nanometers to millimeters.

The Zeta-20 integrates six different optical measurement technologies in one configurable and easy-to-use system. The measurement mode ZDot™ simultaneously captures a high-resolution 3D scan and a True Color infinte focus image. Other 3D measurement techniques include white light interferometry, Nomarski interference contrast microscopy and shear interferometry. Layer thickness can be measured with ZDot or an integrated broadband reflectometer. The Zeta-20 is also a high-end microscope that can be used for sample inspection or automated defect inspection. The Zeta-20 supports both R&D and production environments by providing comprehensive measurements of step height, roughness and layer thickness as well as the ability to scan for defects.



  • Topography
  • Step height: 3D step height from nanometer to millimeter
  • Texture: 3D roughness and waviness on smooth to very rough surfaces
  • Form measurement: 3D arc and form
  • Stress: 2D thin film stress
  • Layer thickness: transparent layer thickness from 30 nm to 100 µm
  • Defect inspection: Detection of errors larger than 1 µm
  • Defect inspection: KLARF files are used to navigate to errors, to measure the 3D surface topography or to scribe error positions.




The Zeta-300 offers all 3D measurement and imaging options of the Zeta-20, combined with an integrated isolation stage and a flexible configuration for larger samples.

The system is based on ZDot™ technology, which simultaneously delivers high-resolution 3D data and a true color image with infinite depth of field. The Zeta-300 supports both R&D and production environments with multi-mode optics, easy-to-use software and low operating costs.


The optical profilometer Zeta-388 is a non-contact 3D surface topography measuring system. The system comes with an integrated anti-vibration isolation solution and a cassette-to-cassette handler for fully automated measurements. The core elements of the Zeta-388 are the patented ZDot™ technology and multi-mode optics, which enable the measurement of a wide range of samples: transparent and opaque, low to highly reflective, smooth to rough and step heights from nanometers to millimeters.

The wafer handler enables the automatic loading of opaque (e.g. silicon) and transparent (e.g. sapphire) samples with a diameter from 50 mm to 200 mm.

Other features include easy-to-use software, low operating costs and SECS/GEM communication.

Available measurement modes:


DIC (Differential Interference Contrast) is a purely qualitative imaging option that is available on many common optical microscopes.

Zeta has taken this capability to the next level and offers its users the ability to convert high-resolution interference contrast images into quantitative surface roughness numbers. The ZIC option allows testing of super-smooth surface roughness in the 5 Å range. Critical defects on wafers and plate substrates such as thin film contaminants can be easily imaged and measured with the ZIC option.

Z resolution: < 3 Å


The Zeta Shearing Interferometer (ZSI) further enhances ZIC technology by integrating a proprietary phase matching mechanism and advanced data processing software. The result is a non-contact optical profiler with Angstrom Level Z sensitivity.

ZSI technology does not require expensive interferometric lenses or special vibration damping tables. In addition, no Z-scanning is required. All this results in better XY resolution, greater ease of use, faster and more reliable data acquisition, and lower plant and maintenance costs.

Z resolution: < 0,5 Å

ZX5 & ZX100 / White light interferometry

The Zeta ZX5 optic combines the sensitivity of a Michelson interferometer with our true color images. It is ideal for measuring nanometer heights over large areas.

Z resolution:  < 1nm


An optionally available integrated spectroscopic reflectometer enables the determination of the layer thicknesses of complex multilayer systems (up to 8 layers) or, with known thickness, the calculation of the n&k values.

Using a common light source, a common optical path and a common camera, the layer thickness measurements are performed at the same location as the 3D measurements. A graphical display on the live screen clearly shows the user where the coating thickness measurement is performed.

ZFT even works on extremely poorly reflecting surfaces, such as solar cells with a reflectance of less than 0.5%.

Many optical thickness measurement devices have difficulties evaluating a signal from such surfaces because they rely on reflected light to calculate phase changes or other parameters. The broadband white light and the vertical incidence of light allow the ZFT option to be used on a variety of optically transparent films.

Layer thickness range: 30 nm to 100 µm


Additional options:

Objective lenses
A wide range of lenses is available, including 1.25x – 150x standard lenses, long working distance lenses, extremely long working distance lenses, lenses with refractive index correction by transmissive lenses, liquid immersion lenses and interferometric lenses.

Coupler lenses
Four different optical couplers are available to change the optical magnification. The system can be configured with the 1x coupler to maintain the native magnification, or with 0.35x, 0.5x or 0.63x couplers to increase the magnification.

The units can be configured with a manual 5x or 6x turret and a lens sensor for automatic lens recognition. The system can also be configured with a motorized 6-position turret for fully automatic operation.

Sample Illumination
The systems use two extra-bright white LEDs as standard illumination. Transmitted light illumination for demanding transparent samples, such as patterned sapphire substrates (PSS), is also available as an option.

Zeta systems can be equipped with different Z-drives to improve system performance. A piezo Z drive can be added to improve the Z resolution for measuring step heights in the nanometer range using the ZDot or ZXI measurement modes. The Z table can be mounted on a swivel arm to rotate the head around the sample to change the angle of incidence on the surface. An optional 280 mm Z column can accommodate large parts such as trays, phones and large machine components. The XY table can be selected with a manual travel of 300 mm or a motorized travel of 150 or 200 mm. A manual turntable can be added to the XY table. A manual tilting table for sample alignment in interference mode can be added.

Sample holders
A range of sample holders are available, including chucks with recesses for transparent substrates to support transmitted light illumination. Support for multiple wafer sizes, including 300 mm, and multiple sample holders are available. If we do not have the sample holder you require, please contact KLA-Tencor with your requirements.

Vibration Isolation Tables
The Zeta-300 and Zeza-388 units are already equipped with passive vibration isolation by default. To improve performance, we also offer active vibration isolation systems.

Standards for step height and layer thickness
The Zeta-300 uses thin and thick film NIST traceable step height standards offered by VLSI standards. The standards have an etched quartz stage with chrome plating. A step height range from 8 nm to 250 µm is available.

An available certified multi-stage standard has nominal step heights of 8, 25, 50 and 100 µm. The standard has various patterns for XY calibration. A certified film thickness standard is available for ZFT, which includes a reference silicon surface and a nominal 270 nm silicon dioxide film thickness. Reference roughness and mirror samples are also available.

Automated sequencing software
The automated sequencing software allows programming of the motorized XY stage for automated measurements at different sample positions. Results are stored in user-defined folders. An output report with statistics is generated to summarize the results.

The advanced sequencing software includes pattern recognition for automatic sample alignment. This allows fully automated measurements and reduces the effects of operator errors. Automatic calibration can also be enabled when integrated standards are used on the stage.

Stitching Software
The automated image stitching software uses the motorized XY table to move to adjacent surface positions and generate a large overall image from the individual measurements. The system automatically measures each location, aligns the images and combines them into a single data set. The results can be analyzed like any other result file.

Additional Analysis Software
The Apex analysis software extends the standard functionality of the data analysis tool by a number of analysis methods such as sample leveling, filtering, step height measurement or roughness measurement. The latest ISO roughness calculation methods and local standards such as ASME are supported. The software also serves as a report writing platform with the ability to add text, annotations and pass/fail criteria.  The software is available in eight languages.

Offline Analysis Software
The offline software has the same functions for data analysis and recipe creation as the tool. This way, the user can create recipes and analyze data without taking up valuable tool time.


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