Accurate Measurements to within 0.02 Microns
The IndiSpectro sensor from BST ProControl GmbH, Wenden, Germany, takes thickness and layer thickness measurements to new heights. The latest version, accurate to 0.02 µm, is ideal for online measurements of very thin films, of flat and non-fibrous materials during production, and of coatings.
The sensor works by comparing optical layer thicknesses with the wavelengths of light. When a light beam impinges on a transparent layer, it is partially reflected at the upper and lower interfaces. The superposition of the two reflected beams creates an interference spectrum, which in turn depends on the refractive index and the thickness of the irradiated layer. These measurements constitute the basis for accurately calculating the material thickness or the coating. The IndiSpectro can determine layer thicknesses ranging from 2 to 150 µm. In the case of stationary measurements, the instrument’s reproducibility of up to 0.0001 µm even extends into the subatomic scale. A new feature of the advanced sensor is its multi-layer capability: it can measure 2 layers exactly. The only requirement is that the products to be measured have adequate light transmission in the relevant wavelength range.
With a scanning rate of 100 Hz and a spot diameter of 1 mm, the sensor returns reliable values within milliseconds. The spot diameter lends itself to local high-resolution thickness measurements, but is also suitable for measurements on flat surfaces. The sensor therefore not only supports process optimization, but can also effectively average the readings and is thus conducive to higher nominal product quality. For this purpose, the effective spot diameter has specifically been designed to be variable, allowing the sensor to support a wide variety of applications.
BST Procontrol GmbH
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