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LNE and Digital Surf cooperate on metrology

29 Jan 2009

Trappes and Besançon, France - The LNE, the French National Metrology Institute, and Digital Surf, the surface metrology solutions provider, announced that they have signed a technical cooperation agreement. The LNE will join Digital Surf’s Mount Shasta programme with internationally reputed laboratories that use Digital Surf’s MountainsMap surface imaging and analysis software.

The LNE develops measurement standards and measurement, test and analysis methods to facilitate innovation, assure product quality and protect consumers. It also develops and maintains metrological references to provide traceability to the international SI system. The LNE uses MountainsMap in its Dimensional Nanometrology Research Programme and a number of other programmes including NanoRef and NanoFeu (financed by ANR, the French National Research Agency).

The Dimensional Nanometrology Programme will help to meet the needs of French industry for dimensional metrology at the nanometric scale and form a basis for cooperation with other national metrology institutes. Within the framework of the programme, the LNE will provide the ability to measure reference standards that are traceable to the national measurement standard for length, establish the levels of uncertainty associated with different types of measurement, and measure advanced products. It is currently developing a metrological AFM to calibrate standards dedicated to SPM applications. MountainsMap is integrated in this instrument for surface visualization and analysis.

The goal of the NanoRef programme, involving multiple partners (LP-CNAM, INM, LPUB, Institut Fresnel, Novasic and LNE), is to develop a roughness standard with a quasi-continuum spatial frequency spectrum and to define the appropriate machining and polishing processes. In this context, the LNE has used an AFM (Atomic Force Microscope) and MountainsMap to measure and analyze the roughness of strips of glass subjected to hydrofluoric acid attacks of different durations. The results of the NanoRef programme will be of interest in numerous domains including tribology, optoelectronics, automotive, precision mechanics, semi-conductors and metrology.

The LNE is one of the participants in the NanoFeu programme with INERIS, ARMINES, ISMANS and Plastics Europe France. This programme is concerned with the evaluation of a new fire retardant technology based upon the introduction of nanocharges into polymer matrices that has emerged as an alternative to traditional flame retardant treatments. MountainsMap is used to analyse surfaces impacted by nanoparticles produced during the combustion of nanocharged polymers.

"MountainsMap is an industry standard and our participation in its future evolution is part of the LNE’s nanometrology intiative," stated Dr. Sébastien Ducourtieux, head of the LNE’s Nanometrology unit at Trappes. "MountainsMap is used in cutting edge LNE progammes to visualise and analyse measurement data generated by a wide range of standard and experimental instruments, in particular scanning probe microscopes."

"Nanometrology is strategic for Digital Surf," stated François Blateyron, Managing Director of Digital Surf’s Mountains Surface Analysis Business Unit. "Feedback from the LNE will help us to ensure that MountainsMap not only meets current needs but also meets future needs in this market.

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