The Olympus LEXT OLS4000 is being used as a benchmark tool for the development of good practice guidelines and new reference standards in optical metrology. With both of these projects being detailed at the upcoming 13th International Conference on Metrology and Properties of Engineering Surfaces, hosted by the National Physics Laboratory (NPL) at Twickenham Stadium, Olympus is at the forefront of developments in metrology. The LEXT OLS4000 has therefore aided the development of various tools to improve the reliability and usability of optical metrology techniques.
Using its unrivalled expertise within the field of metrology, Olympus is deeply involved in the development of systems to provide surface topography data of the highest quality and consistency. Enabling pioneering research and routine inspection in material science, Olympus offers an extensive range of microscopes and accessories for observing surfaces and analysing new materials and nanoparticles. The LEXT OLS4000 confocal laser microscope combines high resolution (down to 120 nm) with outstanding slope detection capabilities of up to 85º. With fast and easy operation, and advanced dual pinhole technology, users are provided with the highest possible resolution and clarity.
Good Practice Guidelines Instruments capable of providing areal surface texture information are becoming increasingly popular, but currently lack sufficient traceability routes for areal surface texture analysis. As a result, reference standards have been prepared by a team led by Professor Richard Leach, Principal Research Scientist at the NPL.
As an important component of these standards, Professor Leach's team is defining good practice guidelines using typical examples of: stylus instruments; white light interferometers; focus variation instruments; and confocal microscopes. This project has established robust and easy-to-use calibration steps and reference standards for all the major areal surface measurement instrumentation technologies, with the Olympus LEXT OLS4000 having been chosen as the reference imaging confocal microscope. The good practice guide on calibration of confocal microscopes will also provide input to the upcoming ISO 25187-607 standard, which is currently being developed.
Further emphasising the importance of good practice measures, Dr Krüger-Sehm, from the PTB (Germany's National Measurements Institute), will be running a training session entitled 'Calibration of surface topography measuring instruments' at the International Conference on Metrology and Properties of Engineering Surfaces. In this course, he will also discuss the recent results of the ongoing "Optassyst" project.
Understanding topographic measurements
Developed and lead by Dr Krüger-Sehm, this project - user-oriented assistance systems for the reliable use of interferometric and confocal distance sensors in the industrial production environment project (www.ptb.de) - aims to develop a software-based user-friendly assistance system for three-dimensional optical recording of geometry on technical surfaces. In cooperation with German Industry and University partners, a valuable resource is being developed, to supports users in improving their understanding of topographic measurements. It will aid in the instrument set-up, the application of calibration strategies and characteristic 3D variables.
The Olympus LEXT OLS4000 is being used as a representative confocal laser scanning microscope in this project to determine resolution and measuring uncertainties of features on surface topography standards will be determined. With its excellent X/Y and cutting-edge Z performance, the LEXT OLS4000 provides a fast and powerful way to research and characterise these standards. This unique tool will therefore enable users to accurately interpret measurement results.