UK-based optical company, Nightingale-EOS has launched its first product, the n-Gauge metrology tool for characterising the thickness and material properties of thin film coatings on a wide range of devices including: medical implants, micro-engineered parts, silicon wafers, solar cells, displays optical coatings and many others wherever in fact there are thin transparent films to be measured.
Nightingale-EOS said that the tool utilises Beam Profile Reflectometry (BPR) technology which has been used in high-volume semiconductor manufacturing for many years. The n-Gauge makes the technology available in a smaller form-factor, at lower cost, and with more capability than ever before.
Nightingale-EOS said that the Gauge is a compact self-contained unit, containing no moving parts, that sits on top of a standard optical microscope1 replacing its standard illumination module and eyepiece assembly. An Ethernet cable connects the tool to an external computer, which provides a simple-to-use graphical user interface and the data analysis capability to make sophisticated measurements of the properties of any films or coatings present on a sample.
Stephen Morris, founder and managing director of Nightingale-EOS, said: “With the launch of the n-Gauge the unique Beam Profile Reflectometry technology, which was previously only available to high volume semiconductor manufacturers, becomes available for use in a wide range of industrial sectors.
“We believe that medical device and solar cell manufacturers, in particular, will benefit from its ability to make accurate ‘on-device’ measurements of coating thickness, strain and refractive index, even where the devices have complex shapes, high surface curvature or are otherwise difficult to align. This should significantly reduce the use of test coupons and off-line device analysis, and make it easier for medical device manufacturers to comply with the FDA’s Process Analytical Technology (PAT) initiative.”