Purdue University

Purdue University

Mechanical Engineering
Tribology Laboratory

Optical Surface Profilometer

The optical surface profilometer is used to characterize surface features of tribological components. The profilometer is manufactured by Phase Shift Technologies. The profilometer consists of a microscope with interference objective, a computer-controlled vertical actuator with a range of 100 microns and resolution of much less than 1, and a computer running MapVue AE which controls the vertical actuator, captures, and displays data. Two methods are used to characterize the distribution of heights on a surface. For small height ranges, the phase shift throughout the field of view is monitored during a small vertical motion. Phase shifts measured at two nearby wavelengths can be used to extend this range from 100 nm to more than one micron. Larger height variations (up to 100 microns) are measured by moving the objective over a greater vertical distance and monitoring the regions of the surface that are in focus.

Our version of the microscope covers a magnification range of 2X to 40X, with corresponding fields of view of approximately 100 microns square to 2 millimeters square. Small samples can be analyzed on the small sample table. The entire microscope also pivots about its base to allow examination of much larger specimens.

 

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Optical Surface Profilometer


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