Dektak 6M

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Dektak 6M
Dektak 6M Surface Profilometer
Equipment Details
Technology Metrology
Materials Restriction General
Sample Size 150 mm maximum, up to 31.75 mm height
Equipment Manual
Overview System Overview
Operating Procedure SOP
Maintenance Maintenance

The Dektak 6M is a stylus profilometer used for thin film step height measurements. The tool is capable of measuring steps of ~ 500 Å to 100 um. It uses a diamond-tip stylus that contacts the sample. The tool maintains a constant stylus force as the sample stage moves the sample under the stylus tip to trace a profile. This tool can profile surface topography and waviness, as well as measure surface roughness.


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  • Vertical Range: ~500 Å - 100um
    • Although the range selection on the instrument goes up to 2620 kÅ (262um), only step heights of up to 100 μm are allowed to be scanned on this tool. For heights above this, the stylus is not be able to climb up the step and will become stuck on the side of the profile, but the stage will continue to move which can damage the stylus, sensor head, and your sample. For steps taller than 100 um, the Zygo or LEXT 3D optical profilers should be used or there are also height gauges located next to the Flexus stress measurement tool in the main clean room or in the CMP room in the ROBIN lab. If optical profiling is not an option, stepping down from features greater than 100um tall is allowed on this tool (but not the Dektak XT in the main cleanroom), but special precautions must be taken. Please discuss how this can be done safely with LNF Staff during tool training or submit a Helpdesk ticket for further clarification.
    • Step height measurement accuracy for small steps becomes limited by noise floor of the instrument and/or sample surface roughness. Based on step height repeatability measurements on a calibration check sample with 400 um scan distance and 200 um feature width, approximately +/-10% accuracy is expected for a 500 Å step
  • Sensor Head Vertical Resolution (@ various ranges): (**Note that true measurement resolution is limited by the noise floor of the tool rather than sensor head resolution i.e. the discrete output levels of the sensor head.)
    • 1 Å @65 kÅ
    • 10 Å @655 kÅ
    • 2620 Å @2620 kÅ
  • Stylus: Diamond tip, 12.5 μm radius
    • Note: Tip size limits the capability of measuring narrow and high aspect ratio trenches. Measurement should be attempted using the Zygo NewView 5000 in these cases.
  • Stylus Tracking Force: 1 mg – 15 mg (software selectable)
  • Scan length: 50 μm to 30,000 μm (30 mm)
  • Scan duration: 3 to 100 seconds for 900 to 30,000 data points/scan
  • Horizontal resolution = (Scan length) ÷ (Scan duration x 300 samples/sec)

System overview

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Substrate requirements

  • Sample Stage Size: 6” for 150 mm wafers and smaller samples
  • Max Sample thickness: 31.75 mm
  • Max Sample weight: 1.5 lbs

Material restrictions

  • No liquids or uncured polymer, photoresist, or spin on films.
  • Be aware that the profiler stylus will make contact with your sample and may scratch into softer materials. Stylus force is software selectable in a range of 1 to 15mg. Lower values of stylus force should be used for soft materials to help reduce scratching into the film.

Supported Processes

There are no standard recipes for the Dektak 6M. For more advanced functions or recipe set up, please consult a tool engineer by submitting a Helpdesk Ticket through the LNF Online Scheduler page for the Dektak 6M.

Standard operating procedure

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Checkout procedure

  1. Read through this page and the Standard Operating Procedure above.
  2. Create a Helpdesk Ticket requesting training.
  3. A tool engineer will schedule a time for initial training.
  4. Practice with your mentor or another authorized user until you are comfortable with tool operation.
  5. Schedule a checkout session with a tool engineer via the helpdesk ticket system. If this checkout is successful, the engineer will authorize you on the tool.


Staff performs weekly calibration checks on each of the three Dektak 6M scan ranges. See Standard Operating Procedure for troubleshooting.