Hextek Corporation now offers, as a service, the capability to measure optical/non-optical precision surfaces using HSP, the Hextek Surface Profiler. HSP is a precise, repeatable, fast, non-contact metrology system for measuring precision surfaces.
Measuring precision surfaces using surface profile methods have been around for many years. The two primary surface profile instruments are coordinate measuring machines and swing arm type profilometers. These devices offer a potential powerful alternative to interferometry with lower measurement cost and faster turn-around. The downside is, that in order to measure a large surface area with mechanical systems such as these, requires significant mechanical component motion. Particularly in the optics industry, when testing, mechanical motion is minimized. The nature of mechanical systems dictates that instability will exist to some degree and that it can be a unpredictable, a drawback for optical metrology.
The manner in which current state of the art profilers deal with this motion related mechanical components problem is by capturing very large arrays of redundant measurements and subsequent use of demanding mathematical processing. The HSP was designed from the beginning to minimize the size of these arrays and concomitantly to reduce the need for complex and intensive mathematics. This difference keeps manipulation of the HSP raw data to a minimum and leaves a truer representation of a surface. We achieve this by using a combination of proprietary methods, both mechanical and optical. The result is a level of accuracy and repeatability that rivals / exceeds that of other systems. There is a significant departure between the HSP and other existing profile measuring systems that allows Hextek to characterize a surface to the level of 15nm RMS in a production environment.
The previous point needs to be stressed, the HSP does not require a specialized laboratory / clean room environment to function down to the 15nm level. Rather, a main concept that went into the design of the HSP is that it must be used in situ with grinding, polishing and figuring. HSP is used by Hextek to streamline optical manufacture with an ability to give the optician to evaluate and track the progress of optical surface relatively easy during production. This can be done because the HSP is integrated into the optical production equipment and does not require removal of the production part when a surface test is needed. This same setup can be used by customers as a second or third party surface measuring service. The power of the HSP system not only allows for extremely accurate surface measurements but a capability to measure unique profiles that other systems cannot. For more details, please click on the Service tab above and metrology.