SBIR Phase I:Dynamic Surface Profile Measurement System

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
4D Technology
3280 E Hemisphere Loop, Ste 146, Tucson, AZ, 85706
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
James Millerd
(520) 294-5600
Business Contact:
James Millerd
(520) 294-5600
Research Institution:
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project addresses the metrology needs of next-generation manufacturing of precision components by developing a surface measuring microscope with extended vertical range/slope capability that can operate under extreme vibration conditions. The aims of this Phase I project are to develop a breadboard system capable of making high spatial resolution measurements without the need for vibration isolation, to develop and demonstrate an extended range measurement technique that will enable the measurement of any type of surface, and to evaluate the performance of this prototype in terms of repeatability, precision and accuracy. The Phase II goal is to develop a prototype instrument that will be mounted on computer-controlled machining equipment used in the manufacturing of precision components such as large optics and x-ray telescope mirrors. The proposed instrument will enable the manufacture of complex surfaces and provide a flexible research tool to study a wide variety of surface phenomenon. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project extends to industries such as micro electro-mechanical structures (MEMS), flat panel displays, bio-medical devices, data storage, solar, semiconductor, and automotive. Surface finish/roughness is critical to the performance of precision machined components in all these industries. For example, in the manufacture of large mirrors for astronomy and aspheric mirrors for x-ray optics, surface roughness is critical to the final imaging performance due to limitations caused by light scattering. In applications such as medical implants and precision automotive components, longevity is critically affected by surface finish owing to friction and wear. Additionally, the measurement of nanostructures is important in the fields of hard disk drive components, MEMS, flat-panel displays, and semiconductor chips to provide feedback to improve fabrication processes and tools. Instruments that directly measure surface roughness in-situ in the presence of vibration, and over a large area, are not readily available. The proposed instrument will allow rapid measurement over a large scale in manufacturing environments enabling quick optimization of the fabrication process, minimization of productions costs, and development of new surface fabrication processes.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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