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Posted: March 2, 2009

Leica Microsystems Presents Innovative Nano-technology for Contact-Free Surface Measurement

(Nanowerk News) At Control 2009, Leica Microsystems is presenting a new technology for contact-free 3D surface measurement that resolves structures smaller than one nanometer. Combining confocal microscopy, interferometry and color imaging in one sensor head for the first time, the 3D Measuring Microscope DCM 3D is a joint development of Leica Microsystems and the Spanish company Sensofar-Tech.
Combined precision  the DCM 3D Measuring Microscope is the first system to combine confocal microscopy, interferometry and color imaging in a sensor head, providing ultrafast and contact-free analysis of the micro- and nanogeometry of mate-rial surfaces to an accuracy of 0.1 nanometer
Combined precision the DCM 3D Measuring Microscope is the first system to combine confocal microscopy, interferometry and color imaging in a sensor head, providing ultrafast and contact-free analysis of the micro- and nanogeometry of mate-rial surfaces to an accuracy of 0.1 nanometer.
The DCM 3D offers ultrafast and contact-free analysis of the micro- and nanogeometry of material sur-faces to an accuracy of 0.1 nanometer. A confocal microdisplay positioned in the field diaphragm, two light sources and two cameras produce unlimited field depth and highly precise 3D results. The LED light source and the sensor head, which requires no mechanically moving parts, make the system prac-tically maintenance-free.
Broad application spectrum from solar cells to paper
The DCM 3D is suitable for a wide variety of measurement applications in R&D and quality assurance laboratories all the way to online process control. The system is extremely useful for the quality control of solar cells, for example. Today, solar or photovoltaic cells can be made for a wide range of uses and to a variety of technical designs. The majority is manufactured out of monocrystalline or large-grain polycrystalline silicon. In the production and quality control stages, the DCM 3D can measure vital parameters in a matter of seconds: silicon surface texture, roughness, the statistics of the etched pyramid structure and the metal contacts. Further application potential of the DCM 3D lies in the contact-free measurement of microstructured glass surfaces, microoptic components or paper surfaces.
Easy results in a matter of seconds
Brightfield, interferometric and confocal images can be produced via the microdisplay. The DCM 3D measures smooth and rough surfaces, topological differences from nanometers to a few millimeters and flanks up to 70. The measurements are ultrafast and the system is easy to operate. The sample is sim-ply placed under the microscope and focused. One keystroke is enough to generate a 3D image of the surface in only a few seconds.
The DCM 3D integrates two CCD cameras, a color camera for brightfield analysis and a monochromatic camera for metrological detection. The software enables 3D imaging in different color modes such as a pseudocolor display of topological information, confocal stacks, infinitely focused color image and high-resolution confocal luminance with the chrominance signal of the color camera.
Source: Leica Microsystems (press release)