IRVINE, Calif. 27 Oct. 2006. Micro Photonics Inc. in Irvine, Calif., introduced an optical quantitative imaging technique called Sarfus for precise 3D thickness, dimensional, roughness, profile and step height measurements at the nanometer scale.
Sarfus technology is based on the perfect control of the reflection properties of polarized light on a Surf (specific supporting plates where the sample is deposited), which leads to an increase in the axial sensitivity of the optical microscope by a factor approximately 100 without reducing lateral resolution.
Using an upright optical microscope, and specific supporting sample plates called Surfs, a white light beam passes through a linear polarizer which produces a linear polarized light that is reflected by the Surf supporting the sample.
The sample induces a change of the polarization state, and when the reflected beams pass through an analyzer crossed with the polarizer, the light reflected from the surf stops, whereas the light reflected from the sample passes through. An infinitesimal quantity of matter deposited on the surface of the Surf changes the property (i.e. modifies the polarization state) and reveals the sample.
The resulting high-contrast images allow direct observation of nano metric thickness films or nano metric diameter objects. A 2D image can be converted into precise 3D metrological images.
The key to Sarfus technology lies in the Surf, which are contrast enhancing supports on which samples are deposited, and can be used in either an air or liquid environment, The specific optical properties can be manipulated by controlling the layers deposited on the substrate.
For more information contact Micro Photonics online at www.microphotonics.com.