Manufacturers in all types of industries often outsource metrology services to a qualified provider, including for nano measurement. This practice is common because purchasing equipment is expensive, there are ongoing costs to maintain it, and you must have qualified staff with the time to operate it.
Outsourcing gives you the benefits of expert technicians, experience with a broad range of applications, and access to multiple technologies. Like any service provider in any other industry, not all metrology labs are created equal. Take the time to evaluate each provider's capabilities before purchasing services, especially if you need help in the specialized field of nano measurement.
4 Nano Measurement Questions to Ask Service Providers
As you evaluate potential providers, consider the following factors:
- Can you effectively measure at the nano level? Not all metrology equipment is capable of gathering data at the nano level. Most modern dimensional inspection labs do offer services at the micro level, but even though that equipment can handle very small measurements, it is not necessarily suitable for nano applications.
- Will your sample fit in the device? Many of the devices used for collecting nano data have relatively small measurement envelopes. This works fine for microelectronics and dental brackets, but not well for larger samples such as panels with solar thin films.
- Will your sample be destroyed by the measurement technique? If you have a larger sample and your provider doesn't have the device to accommodate it, your only option might be to cut a section of the sample to get the data you need. Similarly, if the metrology lab intends to use a contact-based measurement system and your sample is sensitive, it might get damaged during the data collection process.
- Will you achieve the accuracy you need? Nano measurement is still relatively new in the world of dimensional inspection, and developments are emerging all the time. This means that a metrology lab that uses older technology is not likely to have the most cutting-edge equipment available. If you need measurement with a great degree of accuracy, make sure you ask the provider about the best resolution it can offer. A resolution of 20 or 30 nanometers is common for many devices, but new technologies have been able to achieve higher resolution.
Q-PLUS Labs offers outsourced measurement services at the nano level. We use several types of technology to deliver the best possible results, including skidless contact stylus systems, laser, chromatic confocal scanning, and more. If you're interested in learning more about our nano measurement services, contact us today.