07/04/2017

Film thickness measurement with high-performance technology – FRT offers the ideal surface measuring device for every layer

Thin coatings play an increasingly important role in both technical and decorative applications. Depending on the application area, the functionality of the layer can be significantly influenced by its thickness. Correspondingly, the precise determination of the film thickness is of decisive importance in development and in process and quality control. FRT offers the ideal surface measuring device for every layer: whether it is a laboratory, development, quality assurance or production – with the multi-sensor measuring devices from the MicroProf® series, you can measure your coatings without any problems. The determination of the film thickness can be combined with topography measurements and also fully automated. Customers from various industries use the established surface measuring instruments for the measurement on a variety of layers. In optics, simple and complex multi-layer systems for optical filters, absorption layers or antireflection systems are analyzed. The increasing integration in micro- and optoelectronics requires the precise control of thin individual films and multi-layer systems for the production of e.g. microprocessors, conventional and novel memory elements, light-emitting diodes, detectors or semiconductor lasers. Thicker layers, mostly of transparent plastics, are used in the packaging industry as films, membranes, laminates, but also in screen technology and in solar cells. The FRT measuring tools with their intuitive handling also enable the reliable measurement of the film thickness of e.g. protective coatings, hard material coatings, adhesive coatings and varnishes. Depending on the task, different sensors are used: For the determination of film thickness in the sub-micrometer range, from a few tens of nanometers to several tens of micrometers, as well as for the analysis of complex multi-layer structures with high resolution, the FTR sensor was developed at our company. Depending on the requirements, the thin-film sensor is used in variants with different wavelength ranges so that optimal measuring conditions are offered for different materials and film thicknesses. For small structures the lateral resolution can be increased up to 5 μm.

The evaluation of the reflection spectra of the interferometrically operating sensor is carried out by means of a powerful software developed by our film thickness experts: Depending on the film thickness and the layer system, an evaluation using FFT (Fast Fourier Transformation) as well as a model-based fit based on the material data or a combination of both methods is performed. Thus, very thin films in the nanometer range can be analyzed with high resolution as well as fast measurement results can be achieved. A comprehensive, user-friendly database with refractive indices and absorption coefficients of a variety of materials such as glasses, semiconductors, oxides, plastics etc. is included in scope of delivery. In combination with our measuring systems, the FTR can also be used to produce film thickness profiles and mappings with high lateral resolution in addition to point measurements. The sensor is also ideal for integration in inline control.

In addition, this sensor allows the analysis of multi-layer systems with up to ten layers. Transparent substrates coated on both sides can also be modeled. It is also possible to characterize components in which the layer system is located between thicker materials such as, for example, in OLEDs which are encapsulated on one side with glass and on the other side have a metal electrode.

We certainly have a solution for your specific application. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. Our experts will be glad to take care of your needs and work out individual solutions for you.