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Open AccessArticle

The Meaning and Measure of Vertical Resolution in Optical Surface Topography Measurement

Zygo Corporation, Laurel Brook Road, Middlefield, CT 06455, USA
Academic Editor: Richard Leach
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 54;
Received: 2 December 2016 / Revised: 28 December 2016 / Accepted: 30 December 2016 / Published: 5 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dimensional Micro and Nanometrology)
Vertical resolution is the most widely quoted and most frequently misunderstood performance specification for equipment that measures surface topography. Here I propose to use internationally standardized terms and definitions for measurement noise and surface topography repeatability as more meaningful quantifiers for measurement performance. A specific example is an interference microscope operating with a 100 Hz, 1 k × 1 k pixel camera, and a sinusoidal phase modulation to convert intensity data to a height map. The measurement noise is found experimentally to be 0.072 nm for a 1 s data acquisition using a surface topography repeatability test, which determines the random height-equivalent noise level for an individual pixel in the areal surface topography map. Under ideal conditions, the measured noise is equivalent to the instrument noise that may be published in a performance specification in place of the more common, but poorly defined, vertical resolution specification. View Full-Text
Keywords: topography; metrology; instruments; standards; interferometry; resolution topography; metrology; instruments; standards; interferometry; resolution
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De Groot, P.J. The Meaning and Measure of Vertical Resolution in Optical Surface Topography Measurement. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 54.

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