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A profilometer is an instrument that measures a surface's profile or roughness at the nanometer level. A contact profilometer has a diamond stylus that physically touches the surface. It is not sensitive to surface color or reflectance. Optical or non-contact profilometers scan the surface with light.
A contact style profilometer
A non-contact profilometer
Video instructions for the Wycko Profilometer at GT Microelectronics Research Center