Micro-Epsilon - PRODUCT NEWS

Sub nano measuring at commercial prices. Eddy current displacement sensors capable of measuring down to 0.08nm are being offered for less than £1,000 each. The eddy NCDT 3700 family of sensors excite their coils at 0.5MHz. Displacement is determined from changes in effective coil resistance resulting from losses caused by eddy currents induced in the metal target. They work with any electrically conducting, non-ferromagnetic material. Resolution with an aluminium target is 0.000015% for single channel and dual channel systems, or 0.000008% for differential systems. Measuring ranges are 0.5, 1, 1.5, 3 or 6mm. Repeatability figures are given as <0.001% and 0.0005% for the two types and unearities, +6% and +1%. To give an idea of scale, 0.08nm is slightly more than the distance between two bonded hydrogen atoms or about one third the distance between two bonded iron atoms. Vendor Micro-Epsilon is careful to say that "measurement results down to 0.O8nm have been established" so such extreme precision sounds as if it is quite difficult to achieve. Nonetheless, the transducers are successfully employed in applications such as wafer positioning in semiconductor manufacture; positioning of exposure units in photolithography; and mirror positioning in the VLT telescope. The European Southern Observatory's VLT is based in Paranal in Chile and consists of four 8m telescopes. Adaptive optics enables images to be obtained with a resolution of 0.07 arc seconds, comparable to the quality of those sent back by the Hubble Space Telescope. Other uses include monitoring the air gap in magnetic bearings and machine tool spindle movement, and the alignment of stepper systems. ________________________________________________________ For further information, please contact:- Chris Jones Micro-Epsilon UK Ltd. Telephone: +44(0)151 355 6070 Fax: +44(0)151 355 6075 Email: info@micro-epsilon.co.uk Website: www.micro-epsilon.co.uk March 2004
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