The Olympus LEXT OLS4000 is being used as a benchmark tool for the development of good practice guidelines and new reference standards in optical metrology.
These projects are being detailed at the upcoming 13th International Conference on Metrology and Properties of Engineering Surfaces, hosted by the National Physics Laboratory (NPL) at Twickenham Stadium.
The LEXT OLS4000 has aided the development of various tools to improve the reliability and usability of optical metrology techniques.
The confocal laser microscope combines high resolution (down to 120nm) with slope-detection capabilities of up to 85.
It is designed to provide fast and easy operation, as well as advanced dual pinhole technology.
Good Practice Guidelines Instruments, capable of providing areal surface texture information, currently lack sufficient traceability routes for areal surface texture analysis.
As a result, reference standards have been prepared by a team led by Professor Richard Leach, principal research scientist at the NPL.
As an important component of these standards, Leach's team is defining good practice guidelines using typical examples of stylus instruments, white light interferometers, focus variation instruments and confocal microscopes.
This project has established robust calibration steps and reference standards for all the major areal surface-measurement instrumentation technologies, with the Olympus LEXT OLS4000 having been chosen as the reference imaging confocal microscope.
The good practice guide on calibration of confocal microscopes will also provide input to the upcoming ISO 25187-607 standard, which is currently being developed.
Further emphasising the importance of good practice measures, Dr Kruger-Sehm, from the PTB (Germany's National Measurements Institute), will be running a training session entitled 'Calibration of surface topography measuring instruments' at the International Conference on Metrology and Properties of Engineering Surfaces.
In this course, he will also discuss the recent results of the ongoing Optassyst project.
Focused on user-oriented assistance systems for the reliable use of interferometric and confocal distance sensors in the industrial production environment, this project aims to develop a software-based assistance system for three-dimensional optical recording of geometry on technical surfaces.
In cooperation with German industry and university partners, a resource is being developed to help users improve their understanding of topographic measurements.
It will aid in the instrument set-up, the application of calibration strategies and characteristic 3D variables.
The Olympus LEXT OLS4000 is being used as a representative confocal laser-scanning microscope in this project, to determine resolution and measuring uncertainties of features on surface topography standards.
According to Olympus, the LEXT OLS4000 has excellent X/Y and Z performance and provides a fast way to research and characterise these standards.
Enabling research and routine inspection in material science, Olympus offers a wide range of microscopes and accessories for observing surfaces and analysing new materials and nanoparticles.