High-resolution portable profiler uses confocal displacement sensors

Written by: Paul Fanning | Published:

A new non-contact metrology system that provides portable surface profiling, imaging and thickness measurements down to nanometre resolutions, is using high precision optoNCDT 2401 confocal displacement sensors from Micro-Epsilon.

The Hornet3D is a new metrology system developed by Rhombus VS, a systems integration specialist based in Brackley, Northamptonshire. The company develops custom solutions for vision, non-contact metrology and automation applications, across a wide range of industries, including semiconductor manufacturing, photovoltaics, displays, electronics, medical, military, automotive, inkjet printing and thin-film solar panels.

Rhombus' team of multi-disciplined engineers has extensive experience in high accuracy process and motion control, integrated software solutions, parts handling, robotic integration, beam profiling, laser processing, galvanometer scanning and calibration. Custom systems can take a variety of forms, from small standalone benchtop platforms to fully integrated 20-tonne systems for handling large glass substrates.

Hornet3D is the firm's latest development and is a flexible, modular system that can be customised for specific surface profiling applications. The system can be specified with a range of different sensors and cameras, including Micro-Epsilon's optoNCDT 2401 confocal displacement measurement sensor.
Hornet3D comprises an X-Y scanner and stage platform with a modular Z-axis fixture with integrated sensor.

The system is completely scaleable. If required, the sensor or microscope can be easily removed and replaced with an alternative unit, providing flexibility for the user in terms of measurement range and resolution. The stage platform can be made larger or smaller depending on customer requirements. The Hornet offers resolutions in the X-Y axis down to 0.1 micrometres. Micro-Epsilon's optoNCDT 2401 confocal sensor provides a Z-axis resolution down to 10nm and a sampling rate of 0.1 to 20kHz depending on the scan parameters.

The system also includes Rhombus' integrated Surescan software, which enables the user to define scan regions and resolution scale. 2D false colour maps can be created, full 3D animated images, cross-section analyses for sample profiling and measurements and basic report generation. Data can also be exported to third party software packages and reports generated.

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