Construction of a Force Probe for Characterization of Microscale Features
Department of Commerce
National Institute of Standards and Technology
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Small Business Information
2750 East WT Harris Blvd., Suite 103, Charlotte, NC, 28213
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThe Phase 2 objective is to provide NIST with a modular gauge head unit equipped with InsituTec's standing wave probe technology. The complete gauge head unit will be retrofitted to the NIST M48 which is one of the most precise measuring machines in the world. This unit will enable NIST to achieve the agency's program goal in dimensional metrology which is to provide microscale measurement capacity to a level suitable for calibration services. At the end of the program, NIST will have a working measuring machine with the ability to measure challenging microscale features such as channels or holes <50 µm wide at a depth up to 4 mm. These types of features are difficult if not impossible to reach using previous probing technologies. The gauge head will be capable of functioning in touch triggering modes and the measurement capability will be further enhanced by the ability to change the vibration amplitude at the end of the probe tip. Additionally, the force probes will have programmable nano-Newton contact force, scanning and touch triggering mode functionality, repeatability better than 5nm, 2D laterally and depth measurement capability. COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS: The market for microscale probing technology is significant due to a vast number of products designed with microscale features. Our standing wave probing technology, as far as we are aware, is the only tool in the world to provide accurate measurements for high aspect ratio feature on the order of 100:1. There are other companies working in this field to develop nanoscale measurement tools. However, the competitive technologies are still fraught with problems and based on published data InsituTec is clearly the leader in this area. InsituTec's objective is to transition this technology into a commercially viable tool for industry and ultimately be a valuable resource for improving microscale manufacturing. InsituTec has already established dialogue and relationships with leading companies in the automotive markets, aerospace, optics, and three internationally recognized standards laboratories. All of these areas have expressed interest in our technology and commercialization of the tool via InsituTec.
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