Optical Profiler, gbs SmartVIS3D

Responsible: Anders Liljeborg, Matthew Fielden

     An optical profiler is an interference microscope, and is used to measure height variations, e.g. surface roughness on reflective surfaces. The measurement is non-contact as opposed to stylus profilometers. The measurement is in three dimensions, the height (Z-axis) is measured over an area of X and Y lateral dimensions.

This optical profiler has a fixed objective of 10× magnification, which gives an image field of 1×1 mm.

Camera stopped working due to Win10 update

smartVIS3D software guide (pdf)

Presentation of Profilometry (optical profiler, stylus profiler, AFM),
NNEN thematic seminar, 2017-05-10, Børge Holme, SINTEF (pdf)

Principle of operation for an optical profiler.

Courtesy Zygo.com

Here is a quick guide how to operate the optical profiler and collect measurements with it.


1. Wake computer and start software (password provided).

2. Place sample on stage, under objective. To the left are the two levelling knobs. To the right and front are the knobs for moving the sample in X and Y directions.


3. Reset the lower and upper bounds of the scanner, and place the slider in the middle of the scan range

4. Focus on the surface so that you can see interference fringes using the manual focusing knobs on the microscope stand.


5. Level the stage so that the fringes move apart and finally "disappear". This is done with the two knobs on the left side of the upper part of the sample stage.

6. Set the lower and upper bounds by pulling the slider up and down until the interference fringes just disappear from the image.

Click on upper and lower "Set" button to set the respective upper and lower bounds.


Bring up the "Measuring Options" from the Options drop-down.


7. Set the scan speed via the "Increment of Scanning". A small value gives a more accurate measurement

8. Quality threshold defines the quality of data that should be kept or discarded. Should be low in most cases (default = 0.03)

9. For most applications in the Nanolab, "VSI mode, Smooth" should be chosen

10. Press "Start Measurement" in the lower right corner.
Measurement is performed and transferred to Mountains Maps for analysis and reporting. There is a preset template for the report, but this can be changed if necessary


11. Step height can be performed on sections


The complete GUI for the analysis software. To the left tools to put together the measurement report, in the center the report, to the right a list of the measurement steps carried out to generate the report.

12. Choose section to analyze



13. Level the section to get rid of general slope.


Areas to be used for levelling are selected along a cross-section.


14. Perform step height analysis.


Result of step height analysis. The orange part of the cross-section are used for the analysis.


15. To perform roughness analyses on images or sections, press "Parameters Table".

Generate a "Parameters Table" to measure surface roughness.

Resulting table lists several roughness parameters.

Camera stopped working due to Win10 update

The CCD camera collecting the images with fringes stopped working on 2020-01-10. This was due to a change in network settings made by a Windows 10 update. The properties of the network interface to the camera contains a configuration setting for "Jumbo Frames" which should be set to the highest value.

Bring up the properties of the network interface for the camera (not for the internet interface). Click the "Configuration" button, select the "Advanced" tab and set "Jumbo Frames" to maximum value.

  1. Settings
  2. Network and Internet
  3. Ethernet (in left column)
  4. Change adapter options (in right column)
  5. Right click the camera netw. if.
  6. Select Properties
  7. Click Configure button
  8. Select Advanced tab
  9. Click Jumbo Frame
  10. Change value to largest
  11. Click OK

Matthew Fielden, Ulrich Vogt, Anders Liljeborg Albanova Nanolab, KTH, SU.