What we measure

Novacam low-coherence interferometers provide non-contact 3D metrology and imaging with sub-micron precision.

Types of objects, surfaces and materials

  • objects: industrial components and materials, films and coatings, biological tissues
  • industrial materials: plastics, polymers, glass, metals, silicone, adhesives, specular or non-specular, reflective, non reflective, turbid, semi-transparent or transparent
  • material transparency:  For thickness or cross-sectional measurements, the maximum depth of light penetration depends on the material index of refraction. Most materials are somewhat transparent. Thickness of completely non-transparent films can be addressed by combining low-coherence interferometry with LIBS technology.
  • sample sizes: objects from several microns wide.  No upper limit.
  • range of surface shapes: rough, smooth, interiors of bores and small-diameter tubes, exteriors of cylinders, concave or convex spherical shapes, filaments, thin tubing
  • static or moving surfaces: rotating or spinning objects, web inspection, in-tray inspection
  • material states: solid, liquid
  • sample temperature: from cryogenic to very hot

High-precision measurements

  • 3D surface coordinates: resolution XY < 5-75 µm, Z < 0.5 µm
  • 3D surface characteristics: including shape, roughness, and volume loss
  • material thickness: thickness of single or multilayer films, up to 8 mm deep. This depth can be extended further by attaching optical probe to a mechanical displacement axis.
  • long profiles
  • index of refraction
  • vibration measurements: vibration frequency and intensity, shaft eccentricity

Data for visualisation

  • 3D models, surface profiles, depth profiles (A-scans), 2D cross-sections (B- or C-scans), 3D volumetric images

Key advantages

  • simultaneous dimensional and surface inspection 3D GD&T, roughness, defects, etc.
  • very high scanning speeds, 1-30 kHz and higher, depending on the system model
  • can reach in to measure hard to reach surfaces, such as insides of small-diameter tubes and bore holes
  • can measure surfaces with high aspect ratio features, such as steps, grooves, channels, holes and steep slopes
  • versatile to deploy in-process or off-line thanks to the fiber-based modular design of the system. Fiber-based probes or scanners mounted on online or benchtop fixtures operate next to the sample surface; optical signals are forwarded to interferometer box via optical fibers that can be up to 1 km long with no signal deterioration.
  • acquires long profiles: no need for time-consuming surface tiling
  • can perform in hostile environments: radioactive, cryogenic, very hot, evaporation chambers, etc.
  • knows the absolute distance of the sample surface when the instrument is turned on (without counting fringes)
  • resistant to air perturbation, lighting and to cutting the beam