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High-aspect-ratio features

Low-coherence profilometers reliably characterize surfaces with high-aspect-ratio features such as steps, grooves, channels, sharp edges, steep slopes, and holes. This is possible due to collinear scanning. Novacam profilometers offer:

  • Collinear scanning with fiber-based non-contact probes: the emitted and received light signals travel along an identical axis. No triangulation is necessary.
  • High speed scanning: 1,000 to 30,000 points/sec and higher
  • Sub-micron resolution: higher sensitivity than triangulation sensors and color confocal systems

Profile of a fuel cell bipolar plate

Profile of a fuel cell bipolar plate surface with channels

Advantages of inspecting surfaces with fiber-based probes

Because Novacam profilometers scan surfaces with fiber-based optical probes, they offer significant advantages:

  • They acquire long profiles: probes acquire surface data one point at a time, at high speeds of 1 to 30 kHz and higher. No need for time-consuming surface tiling.
  • They offer configuration versatility for benchtop or in-process inspection. Probes are mounted onto a benchtop or inline motion mechanism suitable for each application: X-Y table, galvo-scanner, rotational scanner, robotic arm, etc.
  • Probes can work far from profilometer enclosure, as far as 1 km away, without signal degradation.
  • Small probes reach inside to inspect interiors of small-diameter tubes, bores, etc. See inspection in hard-to-reach spaces.
  • Rugged probes perform even in extreme temperatures or in radiation. See inspection in hostile environments.

Novacam standard and small-diameter fiber-based optical probes

Novacam standard and small-diameter fiber-based optical probes

Applications across industries

Novacam low-coherence profilometers inspect surfaces with high-aspect-ratio features in a range of industries.Example:

  • Semiconductor industry: CMP (Chemical Mechanical Polishing) pads used for wafer polishing are patterned with high-aspect channels. The surface condition of the CMP pads affects their polishing performance. Low-coherence profilometers are used in process to measure surface roughness parameters in order to optimize the timing of pad conditioning or replacement.
More:

  • Aerospace: blisks (integrally bladed rotors or IBRs), turbines, cooling holes
  • Automotive: fuel injectors
  • Medical device production: tool edges
  • Dental: dental restoration inspection
  • Electronics
  • Fuel and solar cell production: bipolar plates
  • Micro-machining: edges, holes, grooves
  • Tool production: cutting tool fabrication and quality control

Height image of drill bit edge

Height image of drill bit edge

 Intensity image of drill bit edge

Intensity image of drill bit edge