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3D Surface Analysis Vibration
High-precision, nanometer-level 3D surface
measurement systems can be negatively affected by low-frequency
vibrationdistorting imaging and producing inaccurate measurement
Manufacturers need to control processes to
produce a consistent, reliable product. Where precision surface engineering is
required, surface measurement may be a key part of maintaining control of the
process, by checking output to see that the process is not outside of
3D non-contact surface analysis is widely used in the
industry for the measurement of small displacements and surface irregularities.
It delivers the ultimate in high accuracy and repeatable and traceable
measurement. When built into microscopy equipment, employing 3D laser scanning
or structured light, these systems report the surface condition of a product
with more accuracy than any other methodproviding nanometer-level profile
measurements of height, width, angle, radius, volume, and roughness. Such
precision measurement systems allow users to improve product quality and
reliability, and increase manufacturing consistency and production
When measuring at such high
levels of precision, any instrument can be negatively affected by low-frequency
vibrations generated within a manufacturing facility. These can distort
measurements and impact imaging and measurement data
One company that
has great familiarity with the manufacturing environment and 3D surface
measurements is Keyence Corporation--a leading supplier of sensors, measuring
systems, laser markers, microscopes, and machine vision systems
We have many customers with high-precision 3D measurement
systems operating in high-vibration environments, performing microscopy
evaluation at 30,000 times magnification, looking at nanometer-level surface
features, said Evan Eltinge, Senior Sales Engineer Surface Analysis Team, with
Keyence Corporation of America. At that level of detail, and in that
environment, if measures are taken to reduce vibration it improves the quality
of the data.
Without proper isolation surface measurements occurring at
3,000 to 5,000 times magnification, the vibration could contribute to image
blurring and loss of image quality, continued Eltinge.
Vibration can be
caused by a multitude of factors within a plant; every structure is
transmitting noise. Within the building itself, production machinery, forklift
trucks, the heating and ventilation system, fans, pumps, compressors, and
elevators are just some of the mechanical devices and equipment that create
low-frequency vibration. Depending on how far away the surface measurement
instrumentation is from these vibration sources, and where inside the structure
the instrumentation is locatedwhether on the production floor or in a loftwill
determine how strongly the instrumentation will be influenced.
to the building, the equipment can be influenced by vibrations from truck
movement, road traffic, nearby construction, loud noise from aircraft, and even
wind and other weather conditions that can cause movement of the
Vibration Isolation Options for 3D Surface
Featured Product: BM-10 Bench Top Vibration Isolation
- Horizontal frequencies are weight dependent.
- Horizontal frequency of 1.5 Hz is achieved at the upper limit of
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- At the lower limits of the payload range the horizontal frequency
is approximately 2.5 Hz.
- Vertical frequency is tunable to 0.5 Hz throughout the payload
BM-10 bench top platform offers 10-100 times better
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This vibration isolation platform is extremely easy to use
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There are only two
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Pricing & Specifications
The Moulé Group, at the University
of California/Davis, is interested in the solution processing and patterning of
organic electronic materials for use in devices such as light-emitting diodes,
photovoltaics, transistors, thermoelectric, and chemical sensors. The Group
specifically focuses on using structural and dynamic measurement techniques to
quantify the effects of solution processing and patterning on material
morphology and device architecture.
Tucker Murrey, a doctoral candidate
and published author with the Moulé Group, is actively involved with
researching and designing a scalable optical patterning process for organic
"Most working organic devices consist of
several layers of material, each having a specific optical and/or electronic
function," said Murrey. "One universal design constraint for complicated device
architectures, like organic field-effect transistors (OFETs), organic
photovoltaics (OPVs) and red-green-blue organic light-emitting diode (OLED)
displays is that they require multiple components patterned laterally and
vertically to operate. Currently, many of these components are comprised of
non-flexible inorganic materials. In order to move towards flexible, all
organic electronic devices, there is a need to develop high precision vertical
and lateral patterning methods that are compatible with solution processing.
mmense efforts in the plastic electronics field have led to
unprecedented progress and continuous improvements in organic photovoltaic
"Given that conventional photolithography technology
techniques are incompatible with polymeric semiconductors, there is a critical
need to develop scalable photopatterning methods capable of laterally
patterning organic semiconducting compounds with sub-micromometer resolution,"
added Murrey. "This patterning process would enable the construction of a
sophisticated OPV architecture designed to increase external quantum
"A scalable process for controlling film topography with
sub-micrometer resolution would represent a substantial development that
enables the advancement of complex organic electronic device architectures,"
Photothermal Projection Lithography
Moulé Group is working on a series of solution-based methods, one of
which is called Photothermal Projection Lithography for Polymeric
Semiconductors with Sub-diffraction Limited Resolution.
semiconductors combine many of the electrical properties of inorganic
semiconductors with the mechanical flexibility and chemical processability of
organic materials, such as enabling them to be deposited from solution over
large areas, greatly reducing production costs compared to conventional
metallic semiconductors. Developments like this have motivated a rapid increase
in demand for low-cost, high-throughput, and high-resolution fabrication
Organic semiconductors are non-metallic materials that
exhibit semiconductor properties, whose building blocks are polymers made up of
carbon and hydrogen atoms. These conductive polymers are, essentially,
electrical insulators, but become conducting when charges are either injected
from electrodes or by photoexcitation, or doping the intentional introduction
of impurities into an intrinsic semiconductor for the purpose of modulating its
electrical, optical, and structural properties.
"Over the past year I
have been upscaling an optical patterning process that our group developed to
make micro-scale electronic devices with these materials," expressed Murrey.
"The overall pattern area was limited to less than one square millimeter. Now
we are trying to upscale the overall patterning area to about one square
Murrey designed a unique lab-scale photolithography system,
modifying a Leica DM2700 optical microscope, swapping out its LED illumination
source to permit a high-powered (Class 4) 405nm diode laser to be projected
through it. Built into the system is a laser beam expander, collimating lens,
and an optical speckle remover.
For decades, pneumatic air tables have been
the workhorse for reducing vibrations in cleanrooms for manufacturing and
research, where critical micro-engineering instrumentation is employed. But
just as technology has steadily pushed the boundaries into nano-applications in
microelectronics fabrication, industrial laser/optical systems and biological
research, so has the need become ever more necessary for improved precision in
Increasingly, pneumatic air tables are taking a
back seat to the more recent technology of negative-stiffness vibration
isolation, which over the past 20 years since its introduction, has proven
itself in thousands of applications throughout industry, government and
academia, including some of the most diverse and challenging environments, such
be caused by a multitude of factors. Every structure is transmitting noise.
Within the building itself, the heating and ventilation system, fans, pumps and
elevators are just some of the mechanical devices that create vibration.
Depending on how far away the cleanroom equipment is from these vibration
sources, and where in the structure the equipment is located, whether on the
third floor or in the basement, for example, will determine how strongly the
equipment will be influenced. External to the building, the equipment can be
influenced by vibrations from adjacent road traffic, nearby construction, loud
noise from aircraft, and even wind and other weather conditions that can cause
movement of the structure.
Vibrations in the range of 2 hertz (Hz) to
20,000 Hz will influence sensitive equipment. But these internal and external
influences primarily cause lower frequency vibrations, which are transmitted
through the structure, creating strong disturbances in precision equipment used
extensively in semiconductor manufacturing, biotechnology, the life sciences,
and other fields that are very sensitive to environmental contaminants - such
as dust, airborne microbes, aerosol particles, and chemical vapours -
cleanrooms provide an enclosed environment with a controlled level of
contamination that is specified by the number of particles per cubic metre at a
specified particle size.
Equipment employed inside the cleanroom must be
designed to generate minimal air contamination including vibration isolation
equipment, which can range from relatively simple rubber blocks, metal springs
and breadboards, to highly efficient air systems, active electronic systems,
and negative-stiffness systems - constructed with more advanced technologies
and materials for higher precision vibration isolation.
Vibration Isolation Platform Adapts to Space Constraints in Critical Micro- and
Release: Minus K Technology has announced the new ultra-thin, low-height
CT-2 passive isolator -
the successor to the
CT-1 offers better
horizontal performance with additional payload ranges for heavier instruments.
The completely passive tabletop unit is just under 2-3/4 inches in height, yet
delivers 1/2 Hz vertical natural frequency, and ~1-1/2 Hz horizontal natural
frequencies - considerably more low-frequency vibration isolation performance
compared to air tables and active systems. The
CT-2 utilizes Minus K's
breakthrough patented technology that led to a Laser Focus
World 2019 Innovation
The new Negative-Stiffness
low-height, low-frequency vibration isolation platform mitigates space
constraints in microscopy applications.
# # #
The Ultra-Low Vibration Lab (ULVL) is a
part of the new Center of Excellence in Nano Mechanical Science and Engineering
(NAMSE) a recent addition to the G.G. Brown Laboratories on the North
Campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Noel Perkins, former
associate chair for Facilities and Planning with the Department of Mechanical
Engineering, describes this addition as a
building-within-a-building. The Nanoengineering Lab, located
on the ground floor, contains eight ultra-low-vibration chambers for
nanoscale metrology, mechanical, temperature and interference
The chambers are structurally isolated from the balance of the
building. Vibration isolation tables are mounted on pillars that are part of an
8-ft-thick seismic mass, which is isolated from the chamber floors. Even
researchers footsteps wont disturb experiments. With the emergence of
nanotechnology and nanoengineering of the last two decades, a relatively small
number of institutions and agencies have been able to construct facilities for
ultra-sensitive measurements, and I know of none that are focused on the
mission of a mechanical engineering department, said Edgar Meyhofer, professor
of mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering at the
When heat travels between two separated objects, it
flows differently at the smallest scales distances on the order of the diameter
of DNA, or 1/50,000 of a human hair. For example, heat radiates 10,000 times
faster at the nanoscale. Researchers have been aware of this for decades, but
they have not understood the process. Now, at ULVL, researchers have measured
how heat radiates from one surface to another in a vacuum at distances down to
2 nanometers. "We've shown for the first time, the dramatic enhancements of
radiative heat fluxes in the extreme near-field," said Reddy. "Our experiments
and calculations imply that heat flows several orders of magnitude faster in
these ultra-small gaps." Reddy and Meyhofer led the work. A paper on the
findings was recently published in the international journal of science,
Professor Holger Müller's Group at UC
Berkeley is focused on advancing experimental quantum technology to push the
sensitivity of experiments to new levels, and to perform precision measurements
of fundamental constants. The groups work uses methods from atomic, molecular
and optical physics. One project is the development of a transportable,
multi-axis atom interferometer, named miniG.
MiniG was designed to
research how quantum interference can be used to measure gravity outside of the
laboratory. When cooled to just above absolute zero, the atoms form the focus
of a portable quantum gravimeter.
Gravimeters, used to measure
gravitational acceleration, have been successfully applied for metrology,
geology and geophysics. MiniG uses an atom interferometer to measure the effect
of gravity on clouds of atoms that are first trapped and cooled. Interferometry
inherently depends on the wave nature of the object. Particles, including
atoms, can behave like waves. Atom interferometers measure the difference in
phase between atomic matter waves along different paths.
We use atoms
that are laser-cooled to millionths of a degree above absolute zero, said
Xuejian Wu, a post-doctoral scholar, involved in the development of miniG at
the Müller Group. With pulses of light, we drive each atom into a quantum
superposition of having been kicked with the momentum of photons, or not
kicked. The atoms, in two places at one time, are in a superposition of
recoiling backwards or staying still. By manipulating the state of the atoms
using one of two types of such light pulses, we steer the matter waves' paths
and recombine the matter waves at the end of the experiment.
interferometry has become one of the most powerful technologies for precision
measurements, and atomic gravimeters, based on atom interferometry, are
extremely accurate and have long-term stability.
interferometers, however, are too complicated to operate in a miniature package
or under field conditions. Berkeleys mini-G was engineered to resolve this
In this project, we are developing a mobile atom interferometer
using a single-diode laser system and a pyramidal magneto-optical trap,
continued Wu. This allows the device to be smaller, simpler and more robust
than conventional atom interferometers.
Measurements of atomic precision require
isolation from ambient vibrations coming from internal and external sources. As
measurements are being done at a smaller and smaller level, those vibrations
that are present will start to dominate, and the need for more effective
Although the Müller Groups research
laboratory is situated in the basement of a building on the Berkeley campus, it
is still influenced by vibrations from the buildings HVAC system.
several years now we have been using
Negative-Stiffness vibration isolation for our
research projects, continued Wu.
The United States Bowling Congress
(USBC) is the national governing body of bowling, as recognized by the United
States Olympic Committee. It is a membership organization that provides
standardized rules, regulations and benefits for certified bowling leagues and
tournaments. The USBC is one of the worlds largest sports and recreation
membership organizations, in the United States serving approximately 1.4
million bowlers that participate in USBC-certified leagues and tournaments on
both the national and local levels.
Critical to the initiatives of the
USBC is its Department of Equipment Specifications and Certification, which
encompasses testing and research of bowling equipment to set standards and
enhance the sports credibility.
There are two sides to bowling
the recreational, and the more competitive, said Tom Frenzel,
Research Engineer with the USBC. Our focus is on research, testing,
standardization and certification of bowling equipment used for leagues and
Basically, any piece of equipment that
touches the bowling lane comes though this department to be evaluated, and
determined whether or not it should be allowed to be used, added Frenzel.
This includes bowling pins, bowling balls, lane panels, lane
conditioners, gutters, and kick-back walls in the pin deck.
To this end, the department uses a number of research and testing
methodologies to ensure that not only do these products meet established
specifications, but that they are manufactured to within a 4 Sigma quality
manufacturing limit, which means within a 0.6 percent defect rate. Essentially,
ensuring that 99.4 percent of all bowling products used for certified leagues
and tournaments are within designated specifications.
Negative-Stiffness vibration isolator,
under a 3D laser-scanning, digital
Surface Roughness of Bowling
One area of ongoing research and testing at USBC concerns surface
roughness of bowling balls.
Since the early 1990s, better bowling ball
coverstocks have been developed. These coverstocks find more friction on the
lane, and inevitably hook more. They also disrupt the oil pattern on the lane
more, which tends to reduce friction. So the USBC engineering team is trying to
better understand the implications of these factors, and better control their
It has become popular to sand bowling balls with different
grits of sand paper, explained Frenzel. This practice has helped us see how the
sanding level on a ball affects its surface layer, then we compare this back to
how it performs on the lane.
The rougher you get the ball, the more the
ball will hook, and the more friction it will find, continued Frenzel. The
friction will define how the ball accelerates. So more friction means more
acceleration, which just means it is changing its speed quicker, or in less
time. It is really hooking sooner versus later, or taking less time to
(2007 legacy article) - Whether it's an NMR
or a two-photon microscope, scientists love toys - at least when they work.
Sometimes the most mundane things bungle technology: environmental
vibrations from cars driving by, central air conditioning, the voices of the
operators, and even the ocean. As instruments become more sensitive,
subsonic rumblings become more insidious, particularly for nano-technology
applications. With many instruments, such as atomic-force and electron
microscopes, cutting down on vibration is essential to collecting good data.
"You could spend a million or two million on a microscope and have it rendered
useless because of vibration," says Kurt Alberline, an anatomist at the
University of Utah School of Medicine, who runs an electron microscopy
When researchers suspect vibration is wreaking havoc on their data,
they should identify the origin of the noise or get an environmental engineer
to find it, say scientists who regularly deal with vibration. For example,
Vicki Colvin, a chemist at Rice University in Houston, noticed images moving
around in a circle on her transitional electron microscope. "It was like a
ghost," she says. Colvin discovered that an air duct was causing the problem
and spent $1.20 on a shield to divert air away from the scope. "The easiest way
to get rid of vibrational noise is to stop it at its source." says Larry Cohen,
a neuroscientist at Yale University.
The design of a building is
critical to the vibration that reaches an instrument, says Ahmad Soueid, senior
vice president at HDR Architecture in Omaha, Neb., which has designed more than
a dozen nanotech laboratories. Isolating air-handling equipment from
laboratories and using special joints that redirect vibration to the ground are
some of the fixes his firm uses. Recently, concerns over vibration plagued a
$250 million NIH facility under construction in Baltimore. Initial reports
indicated the building's quivers could render confocal microscopes useless,
although later measurements suggested most instruments will work with proper
There's no universal fix, says David Platus, president of
Minus K, a company that makes high-end vibration-isolation tables. Solutions
vary, from cheap rubber pads that rest under instruments, to the air-cushioned
tables that have been around for 50 years, to tables that sense vibration and
cancel it out. "The more sensitive the instrument, the better isolation you
need." he says.
Example Causes of Bad
Freeway & Road Traffic
HVAC (Heating & Air Conditioning Issues)
(including from ocean waves)
Trains & Subways