SBIR Phase I:Metrology for Precision Machining

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Ascentia Imaging
490 Oneida St, Boulder, CO, 80301-2976
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Gregory Johnson
(720) 232-8267
Business Contact:
Gregory Johnson
(720) 232-8267
Research Institution:

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project identifies an opportunity to advance the state of the art of ultra-precision fabrication precision by an order of magnitude or more compared to current capabilities. A significant problem with modern multi-axis ultra-precision fabrication is the lack of overall system closed loop control, requiring instead calibrated open-loop control which is unable to reach nanometer precision. The research objectives in this project open the opportunity for higher precision by designing and simulating a real time in-situ metrology system, including optics and algorithms, to achieve 5 nanometer x, y, z root mean square precision over a 6 inch planar substrate. The research is based on jointly designing an array of wavefront sensors, algorithms, commercially available processing hardware and specialized cooperating targets to provide real-time position feedback to a modern diamond turning/milling machine. The anticipated technical results are optical designs, algorithms matched to hardware, array geometries for wavefront sensing, specialized reference object designs and system simulations for real-world performance and proof-of-concept. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is demonstrated by a dramatic increase in the precision of ultra-precision fabrication and the competitive advantage inherent in such capability. The innovations in this project will enhance scientific and technological understanding of a wide field of view nanometer precision metrology system that will be used to enable fabrication of devices with tolerances not previously achievable. Fabrication of higher precision devices provides new optic/photonic devices, smaller and more reliable micro-mechanical systems and more durable yet increasingly inexpensive consumer goods. Nanometer precision in-situ measurement provides the ability to work faster and more consistently while also enablingg "re-work". The societal and commercial impacts of higher precision components produced in less time with more consistency extends beyond the devices and affects the way people interact with business opportunity and communication, family needs and education, and creates new forms of mobility and entertainment. Commercial advantage is providing ultra-precision fabrication with the highest precision in the world while also having the ability to remove, re-mount, and re-work components. Higher precision impacts every technology area and market sector that relies on technology fabrication, and future unknown markets that are enabled by higher precision.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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