World’s Fastest Confocal Sensor for 3D Quality Control

The Hicos3D sensor is especially well-suited for use in the field of semiconductors (Source: NanoFocus)

NanoFocus AG, developer and manufacturer of industrial 3D surface measurement technology, has developed the world’s fastest confocal sensor for 3D quality control directly integrated into production processes. It inspects complex microelectronic, micromechanical, mechatronic, as well as optical products and components. The Hicos3D sensor (high-speed confocal sensor for 3D) is especially well-suited for use in the field of semiconductors and opens up new opportunities on the market for NanoFocus. At Semicon Taiwan, the Hicos3D has recently being presented for the first time.

“With Hicos3D, we are making an important contribution to quality assurance in the production process and the development of new complex and highly integrated electronic components,” says Marcus Grigat, COO of NanoFocus AG. The Hicos3D project was sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in the funding initiative “KMU-innovativ: Optische Technologien” (Innovative SMEs and Optical Technologies) as part of the programme “Photonik Forschung Deutschland” (German Photonics Research).

The new confocal high-speed sensor delivers over five million 3D measurement points per second and thus more than fulfils the goal set at the time of the project start: producing the fastest confocal sensor in the world. The Hicos3D offers lateral and axial resolutions that are four times higher than the fastest existing confocal sensor at project start. Concurrently, NanoFocus increased the measurement speed by two and a half times. The requirements placed on the measurement technology used in microelectronics are continually growing in light of increasing performance and simultaneous miniaturisation.

Due to the quickly rising integration density needed for constructing modern smartphones, tablet PCs and other mobile devices, the diameter of electronic connection contacts (bumps) has now decreased to under 30 µm. This trend will continue and create great challenges for bump inspection systems used in future microelectronics, where precision and speed are concerned. With Hicos3D, NanoFocus can make an important contribution to mastering these challenges.

CFO Joachim Sorg: “In the last seven years, NanoFocus has invested in research and development on a large scale. Today, it has a product range for high-precision surface analysis that is, technologically speaking, unique in the world. Meanwhile we are able to assert our leading position in technology with a considerably reduced research budget and position ourselves in markets like 3D printing or the mobility of the future. Thus, we are on board as partners in battery research and developing state-of-the-art fuel cells, sensors, as well as camera and tire technology.” (Source: NanoFocus)

Link: NanoFocus AG, Oberhausen, Germany

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