Q-Plus Labs

Sitemap | Contact Us 

Dimensional Measurement Blog

What Types of Data Can Be Obtained from Nano Measurement?

Posted by Mike Knicker on Aug 11, 2015 2:01:00 PM

What Types of Data Can Be Obtained from Nano Measurement

Dimensional inspection is employed to measure a broad range of sample types in almost every industry imaginable. This same versatility is required at the nano scale, which is why ongoing effort is put into the development of new measurement technologies.

The combination of stylus profilometers, chromatic confocal technology, interferometry, and other types of sensors enables the collection of multiple types of data at the nano level. The ability to use various sensor types, sometimes even for the same sample, makes measuring objects with varying characteristics possible. For example, although using a stylus profilometer to measure an object with a soft surface may not be possible, an optical sensor can solve the problem.

Types of Nano Measurements

Some of the types of measurements that can be obtained at the nano scale include:

  • Form -  Micro gears and other small parts require precision shapes and contours. Complex 2D and 3D geometry can be captured at the nano scale with sensors that capture and process point cloud data.

  • Roughness - Surface roughness is one of the most common applications for nano measurement. In this case, the type of measurement technology used will depend on the height difference between the highest and lowest points on the surface, whether the material is hard or soft, and the type of results required for the application in 2D or 3D.

  • Flatness - The flatness of a pane of glass or man-made sapphire can be measured, regardless of the reflectivity of the surface. When chromatic confocal technology is employed, even the flatness of the opposite side of the glass can also be measured through the translucent material.

  • Coplanarity - For a Ball Grid Array (BGA), the top of each solder ball needs to be coplanar with all the others so the mating component seats properly and all connections are made. The geometry of these parts can be measured and verified at the nano scale.

  • Roundness - Micro gears and other small parts require precision shapes and contours. The geometry of these parts can be measured and verified at the nano scale.

  • Thickness - The thickness of wafers, plastic films, and epoxy films are examples of applications for which nano measurement is often employed. With a chromatic confocal sensor, the thickness of translucent objects, like the glass face of a smartphone, can be determined.

These are not the only types of measurements that can be obtained at the nano scale. The use of multiple types of sensors and the ongoing development of new nano measurement technology are continually expanding the possibilities for manufacturers and researchers.

If you require any of these types of nano measurements, or if you're not sure what approach is needed, the experts at Q-PLUS Labs are here to help. We'll work closely with you through every step of the process to ensure that you get the best results for your application. Contact us anytime if you have questions, or when you're ready to get started.

New Call-to-action

Read More

Topics: dimensional inspection, nano measurement,, nano scanning,, optical sensor, nanoscale,, surface finish analysis,

How Nano Measurement Can Benefit Surface Finish Analysis

Posted by Mike Knicker on Jun 16, 2015 2:09:16 PM

    How Nano Measurement Can Benefit Surface Finish Analysis

Surface finish analysis is one of the most common applications of nano measurement, primarily because this field requires a high level of precision. Specialized equipment is necessary because traditional dimensional inspection technology is not able to capture surface characteristics such as texture, sharpness, flatness, and wear at the nano level. In many applications, the surface conditions are not important, but in some cases they can affect functionality; therefore, meeting certain specifications is critical.

In the past, 2D surface finish profilometers were one of the only ways to collect data and deliver topographical information. Although this data is useful, it imposes limitations on manufacturers and engineers because they are not able to verify specifications for 3D surface finishes.

The availability of newer nano measurement technologies is changing the landscape of surface finish analysis, making it possible to achieve full 3D analysis.

Nano Measurement and Surface Finish Analysis

Some of the features that nano measurement equipment is able to capture include:

  • Profile roughness - The profile roughness gives you 2D information about the texture of a surface. The data is collected along a single line or extracted from an area data collection.

  • Surface roughness - In this case, the roughness is measured across the entire area of the surface. This obviously provides more information than profile roughness because the characteristics are not necessarily the same over the entire surface of the object.

  • Wear measurements - The data that is collected can be compared with an existing data set to determine the amount of surface wear that has occurred on a part. This is important for high-precision manufacturing and other applications in which surface features affect functionality.

  • Volume measurements - The volumes of peaks, holes, pits, and bumps can be determined at the nano level. Minute differences in surface topography can have a major impact in applications such as solder points on micro circuit boards or artificial hip implants.

  • Finding defects - Identifying surface defects such as blemishes, holes, or scratches is an important part of quality control. When these defects occur at the nano level, the impact in certain applications can be significant. New nano measurement technologies not only have made identifying these surface defects possible, but also allow it to be achieved quickly, which is important in a fast-paced manufacturing environment.

Using a combination of technologies, Q-PLUS Labs can deliver simple surface finish readings, full 3D analyses with visualizations, raw point cloud data, and even fully parametric 3D CAD models of very small and complex geometry at the nano level. If you are looking for a provider that offers a wide variety of high-precision nano measurement, contact us today to get started.

New Call-to-action


Read More

Topics: nano measurement,, nano scanning,, nanoscale,, surface finish analysis,

4 Nano Measurement Factors to Consider Before Purchasing Services

Posted by Mike Knicker on May 12, 2015 11:33:00 AM

3 Challenges that Come with Nano Measurement

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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

New Call-to-action

Read More

Topics: nano measurement,, surface finish analysis,

Top 7 Applications that Benefit from Nano Measurement

Posted by Mike Knicker on Apr 14, 2015 12:45:00 PM

Top 7 Applications that Benefit from Nano Measurement

The development of new ways to measure objects and surfaces at the nano scale has allowed dimensional inspection providers to improve both accuracy and speed. It has also enabled the measurement of larger samples and objects with different surface types, as well as provide better 3D imaging capability.

Advances in nano measurement are interesting from a scientific perspective, but they also offer practical benefits in a number of different areas.

7 Applications that Benefit from Nano Measurement

Some of the applications that can benefit from better nano measurement include:

  1. Dental - Orthodontic brackets with very small features are difficult to accurately measure with contact probes and vision systems. The use of chromatic confocal technology enables better data collection because stylus size is not an issue, it measures in 3D without contacting the part, and the results are not impacted by reflectivity or translucence.
  2. Forensics - The ability to measure fibers and tool marks with greater accuracy gives forensics professionals better resources when processing evidence. Even specimens without parametric geometry (such as tissue samples) can be modeled in 3D.
  3. Microelectronics - Circuit boards at the micro and nano scale must be measured for quality control to ensure that the conducting path is consistent with specifications and that the wire bonds are correctly oriented. Because the samples are so sensitive, they must not be destroyed during the measurement process, which is why a non-contact system is the best solution.
  4. Medical - Artificial joints, implants, and other medical devices require highly accurate surface geometry to perform at their best. Measuring surface form and roughness at the nano scale ensures that the specifications are met. Nano measurement can also be used in the development and manufacturing of surgical instruments.
  5. Printing - Nano measurement is used to determine the surface roughness of different types of paper. It can also be employed to analyze printing results and detect errors.
  6. Tools and machining - Micro tools and components require a high level of accuracy to operate correctly. Nano measurement can be used for detecting tiny flaws in a micro gear, for measuring form, or for determining the amount of wear on a part.
  7. Material science - The ability to accurately measure a broad range of surface types at the nano scale, without risk of damaging the sample, is a valuable addition to the material science industry. Even materials with differing reflective properties can be measured with the same device.

The list of potential applications goes on and on. Automobiles, injection molding, and plastic films are just a few more examples of the types of industries, processes, and products that can benefit from new nano measurement technologies.

Q-PLUS can help you with your nano measurement needs. We regularly work with businesses in almost every type of industry, so no matter what your application is, we have the experience and expertise you need to get accurate results. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

New Call-to-action

Read More

Topics: dimensional measurement, dimensional inspection, nano measurement,, nano scanning,, nanoscale,, surface finish analysis,