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MProbe 20 thickness measurement system

MProbe 20 Vis system

MProbe 20 Vis brochure

What is MProbe Vis

MProbe Vis-Thin film measurement system is compact and versatile desktop system. It can measure translucent films in 10nm – 150µm thickness range on different substrates. And, yet, it is economical and  easy to use. The production version of MProbe Vis(X) is designed to withstand vibrations and operate 24/7 using LAN connection. It can be used for inline and OEM applications. It is compatible with cleanroom environment.

MProbe20 VisX system is a version of the MProbe20 Vis system with improved sensitivity at longer wavelengths(> 700nm).

Basic Specification:

  1. Wavelength range (usable): 400-1000nm  (typical calibration range: 380-1050nm) and 450nm -1050nm for VisX
  2. Wavelength resolution: < 1nm with 20µm slit (uniform across the spectrum)
  3. Thickness range : 10nm – 150 µm
  4.  Precision/repeatability: <0.01nm or 0.02% 
  5. Accuracy: <1nm or 0.2%
  6. Measurement spot size: < 1mm (standard)
  7. Minumum data acquisition time: 10 µs 
  8. Light source: 5W TH lamp, 10000hrs lifetime (Option: 20W TH lamp with 2000 hrs lifetime) 
  9. Communication Interface: USB and 1Gb LAN
MProbe VisX sensitivity improvement in the NIR

Comparison of MProbeVis and MProbeVisX measuring intensity of 5W Tungsten Halogen lamp spectrum

MProbe VisX has ~ 50% improved sensitivity at longer wavelengths (>700nm) and more smooth spectral response as compared to MProbe Vis.

Improved IR sensitivity  is especially useful for measurement of:

  1. thick films (> 20um).
  2.  films with low reflectivity in this wavelength range (e.g. films on Si substrate)

MProbe VisX  uses S16514 CMOS detector to help  Improve IR sensitivity. 

Why MProbe Vis system

The system looks  simple: just spectrometer, light source, reflectance probe, focusing lens and software. One can take suitable hardware, add software and have a working system.  This is a great way to learn all nuts & bolts of the measurement process. However, the approach will not yield MProbe performance and unlikely to reduce the cost.  The simplicity of  the system can be deceiving.  MProbe Vis was first developed in 2008 using commercial spectrometer. It went through many re-designs to improve performance, ease of use and reliability. During this process many custom parts were designed, including currently used Ariel spectrometer that was specifically developed for this application. We are constantly improving hardware and software. The latest design update was done in 2022. The system is designed for easy use of hardware and software. Spectrometer and TFCompanion software are obvious critical parts and the real stars of the show but the sample stage and focusing lens also make the difference. The transparent measurement process hides the complexity of the process to achieve  “one click” operation.  Let’s look at each component separately.


Ariel spectrometer was specially designed and optimized for use in MProbe. The salient features of spectrometer are astigmatism correction (torroid mirror) and the use of  CMOS array detector.

  • Astigmatism correction increases light collection ~ 4-5 times as compared to uncorrected design.stigmatism correction also helps reduce other aberrations – the result is uniform wavelength resolution across the spectrum. Typical spectrometer has reduced resolution at the ends of the spectrum. Thick film measurement is, typically, using the 700-1000nm portion of the spectrum. Uniform wavelength resolution increases measurable thickness from ~ 50µm to ~ 150µm.
  • CMOS detector allows very fast data acquisition (down to 10µs).  
  • Spectrometer is calibrated in a wide temperature range (typically, 14 to 45 deg. C). This means that it has no temperature drift (it is corrected in the firmware)

These are just couple of examples. You can read more details in the following link: Ariel Spectrometer

Light source

5W TH light source is notable for several things:

  1. Lifetime 10,000 hrs
  2. Constant- current driver (CC driver keeps the light stable and maintain the same spectral output as the lamp ages)
  3. Easy replacement – no alignment  needed
  4. No need for forced cooling
  5. This low power lamp enables ~ 1ms measurement time on a typical Si wafer (or other sample with ~ 30% reflectivity)

Sample stage

SH200A sample stage makes thickness measurement easy. It has two important features:

  1. Focusing lens (~ 65mm working distance). It gives measurement  spot < 1mm.  The working distance is optimized to have low sensitivity to tilt and decreased sensitivity to substrate thickness change.
  2. Fine lens adjustment mechanism. It is important because  calibration is done with Si wafer or quartz plate. But measured  sample  substrate can  have a different thickness. The lens can be repositioned  to maintain the same distance to the sample as during the calibration. This is required for an accurate measurement..

TFCompanion Software

TFCompanion is a full stack thin-film data analysis software that has simple and intuitive interface. It can be used by technician on production line and has all the sophisticated  features for use in University or R&D lab. It encapsulates many decades of experience measuring and analyzing thin film applications. You can read more about TFCompanion

MProbe Vis inside

A look inside MProbe Vis measurement unit

Sample stage

Sample Stage SH200A  with adjustable focusing lens.

Sample Stage SH200A


  • Main measurement unit (includes spectrometer and light source) 
  • Fiberoptics reflectance probe
  • Sample stage SH200A with focusing lens
  • TFCompanion -RA software, USB dongle(license key), USB memory stick with softwar distribution,User Guide and other materials
  •  USB  and/or LAN cable
  • 24VDC power supply adapter (110/220V)

Each system is assembled to order and individually tested.

System can be configured using different options (see brochure for details) It also can be customized and/or tested on specific application.

All systems are assembled and tested in USA

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