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MicroscopyInnovations


typically diamond. Lateral sample movement is accomplished through a long-range piezoelectric actuator, and the lateral velocity and maximum distance can be varied to replicate a variety of sliding conditions. Since these tests are inside an SEM, the probe-sample contact can be precisely controlled to ensure proper test placement. Real-time observation of sample deformation can be recorded and ultimately correlated to the force and displacement data acquired by the PI 88. T e lateral force sensor is capable of measuring small-scale forces between 3–30,000 μ N, and the maximum lateral actuation distance is 30 μ m.


One application for this development is quantitative scratch testing of thin fi lms and coatings for determining interfacial strength. For such applications cracking, buckling, delamination, and spallation events observed with the SEM imaging can, for the fi rst time, be directly correlated to the force and displacement data.


Keyence VR-3000 Non-Contact Wide-Area 3D Measurement System


Keyence Corporation of America Developers: Keyence Corporation of America


T e VR-3000 is a non-contact, wide-area 3D measurement microscope that performs sub-micron resolution scanning in seconds. Aſt er scanning, the microscope creates a 3D model of the sample, which can be analyzed for form, contour, fl atness, warpage, curvature, line roughness (ISO 4287:1997), surface roughness (ISO 25178), and more. Scans can be directly overlaid against 3D computer-aided design (CAD) models to visualize and quantify surface shape


diff erences, and pass/fail inspection can be programmed to save time in quality and analysis applications such as setting prototype conditions or performing acceptance inspections. Structured light is emitted from the transmitter lens and projected onto the surface of the sample. When the refl ected light is viewed from a diff erent angle under the receiver lens, the light appears banded and bent due to height changes on the object’s surface. A CMOS camera is used to capture the refl ected light, and based on triangulation the height and position can be calculated using a telecentric multi-triangulation algorithm in about 4 seconds. T e system is able to scan up to a 4” × 8” envelope size, and the optics can be mounted on a gantry to accommodate larger applications. Traditionally, probe-based profi lers have been the industry standard for analyzing 3D profi les and surface shapes. However, there are important disadvantages to probe-based profi les. Probe-based profi lers use a stylus or probe-tip to trace the surface of a sample, which means only a single line of data can be obtained. Styluses must make contact with the sample surface, and scratches may form on the surface of a sample.


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Also soſt or viscous samples are diffi cult to measure with probe-based profi lers. T e VR-3000 uses a non-contact white light as its measurement medium, which means that it can overcome all the disadvantages of probe-based profi lers. Additionally, the VR-3000 provides the analysis capabilities of 3D CAD compare, 3D CAD export of scans, and XYZ traceability. Applications can be found in any industry that requires 3D surface characterization and quantifi cation, including but not limited to automotive and tooling (brake pads, tooling, gears, ductile metal fractures), electrical components (ball grid arrays, connector pins, printed circuit boards), injection molding, and many others.


Plasmonic Grating Platform to Replace Glass Slides


University of Missouri


Developers: Shubhra Gangopadhyay, Keshab Gangopadhyay, Aaron Wood, Biyan Chen, Sangho Bok, Haisheng Zheng, and Joseph Mathai


Plasmonic gratings can improve signal-to-noise and image resolution in light microscopy. Nanoscale plasmonic gratings use incident light photons at specifi c angles and wavelengths to excite electron oscillations at the surface in a process known as surface plasmon


resonance (SPR). Previously, SPR-based imaging platforms were expensive to fabricate and required advanced optical systems to excite and image. The present system employs a scalable glancing angle deposition (GLAD) technique to produce an abundance of nanoscale silver protrusions from the silver grating surface that concentrate the surrounding electro- magnetic field formed during SPR. In the GLAD technique, a silver metal film is thermally evaporated at a “glancing” angle onto a grating surface, and the process is tuned to produce a dense population of nano-protrustions over the entire grating surface. When this process is combined with a microcontact lithography process, inexpensive GLAD plasmonic gratings can be fabricated. These gratings can be used as a substitute for quartz and glass microscopy slides to improve the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and image resolution in light microscopy.


A plasmonic grating also may be tuned to couple incident light in the visible spectrum provided by a microscope objective. When fluorescent molecules, such as those used to label proteins, are located near these nano-protrusions, they interact in a manner that greatly enhances the number of emitted photons and ultimately results in a higher emission of intensity detected from individual molecules without an increase in background intensity. The plasmonic grating and nano-protrusions also have far-field superlensing capabilities, which transmit the near-field information into the farfield to improve the observed image resolution.


www.microscopy-today.com • 2017 September


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