Rudolph has a long history of technology leadership in manufacturing highly accurate quality instruments that use polarized light as a measuring medium.

In 1940, the company, O.C. Rudolph and Sons, Inc., was founded by Otto Curt Rudolph. He imported microscopes and other scientific instrumentation and later designed and manufactured instrumentation for universities and laboratories. In 1970, the company changed its name to Rudolph Research Corporation.

Rudolph introduced the industry’s first production-oriented ellipsometer for thin-transparent film measurements in 1977 and has consistently led the industry through innovative product developments that surpass those of the competition.

In June 1996, Riverside Partners and Liberty Partners made major investments in Rudolph to support its expansion in the semiconductor metrology market. Coincident with the new partnership, Rudolph changed its name from Rudolph Research to Rudolph Technologies to reflect its new strategic focus and plans for metrology in the 21st century. In November 1999, Rudolph became a public company and now is currently trading on the NYSE. 

For opaque film characterization, Rudolph brought the revolutionary PULSE™ Technology to the fab floor. Since its introduction, over 200 systems have been sold to over 35 companies. PULSE has helped all of the top semiconductor manufacturers ramp copper processes quickly and keep production in control twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

In July of 2002, Rudolph acquired ISOA, a supplier of inspection and classification systems. A merger with August Technology was completed in February of 2006, and solidified Rudolph’s position as a major player in macro defect detection and analysis.

Rudolph accelerated its efforts to be a more complete supplier of back-end equipment and software with the acquisition of the semiconductor business of Applied Precision, LLC, in December 2007, and the purchase of the Wafer Scanner product line from RVSI Inspection LLC in January 2008. These acquisitions added precision wafer probe card metrology systems, wafer probe process management systems, and 2D/3D macro defect inspection to the companies’ growing portfolio.

In 2009 Rudolph broadened its process control software presence through the acquisition of Adventa Control Technolgoies, which brought tool automation, run-to-run control and fault detection and classification solutions into its portfolio. Rudolph further expanded its process control role in 2010 with an acquisition of the assets related to MKS Instruments' Yield Dynamics software business.

The acquisition of the assets of NanoPhotonics GmbH was completed in June 2012, adding unpatterned wafer and mask blank inspection to its product portfolio.

In December 2012 Rudolph announced its entry into the back-end lithography market with the acquisition of Azores Corp. and the development of a 2x reduction stepper total lithography system.  

In 2013 Rudolph announced the acquisition of selected assets of Tamar Technology, a supplier of 3D metrology technologies that have been integrated into Rudolph’s defect inspection equipment to provide a complete 2D/3D inspection and metrology solution for emerging advanced packaging applications.

Rudolph enhanced its inspection capabilities with the recent acquisition of Stella Alliance, LLC, a Massachusetts-based semiconductor inspection technology intellectual property (IP) portfolio company. Stella Alliance’s patented illumination, auto-focus and image acquisition technology significantly enhances the ability to identify certain critical defects not visible with current techniques.