4D Technology introduces FlexCam roughness and defect metrology module

The FlexCam metrology module from 4D Technology

The 4D Technology Corporation, a manufacturer of optical metrology systems based in Tucson (AZ), USA, has recently unveiled its new FlexCam metrology module. The new device is a compact, high-resolution 3D metrology system for in-situ roll-to-roll measurement of flexible electronics. FlexCam modules are reported to provide sub-nanometre vertical resolution and micrometre-scale lateral resolution for in-process roughness and defect quantification for the measurement of substrates, barrier films and intermediate layers.

Surface roughness and defects affect the longevity of components deposited on flexible substrates and greatly affect barrier film properties. FlexCam is said to enable real-time monitoring and control of roughness to less than 0.5nm rms, both inclusive of and exclusive of defects on the film. The system can provide accurate measurements despite vibration, runout, web flutter and other effects, which can vary the relative location of the substrate with respect to the measurement system.

FlexCam also identifies and quantifies defects, registering their position within the roll. Multiple defect statistics are calculated including area, volume, depth and slope, with user-selectable pass/fail criteria as each metric can have adverse effects on barrier or end device performance. Extrinsic versus intrinsic defects can be discriminated to help isolate their root cause. Where bright-field inspection systems are sensitive to the backside of the film as well as the roller surface, 4D’s FlexCam is immune to such effects, measuring only the top surface.

Therefore, the modules can provide significantly more areal coverage than off-line bright-field or 3D microscopes. Each module can offer 100% inspection in the machine direction for web speeds up to 1m/min. Finally, the modules can also be arrayed across a web, offering as little or as much sampling in the transverse direction as required.

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