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Optical profiling business seeking UK partners

I met with a business recently who are looking for opportuntities to relcoate their business. NanoOptoMetrics (NOM) is looking for companies and R&D groups with metrology challenges in the UK and in particular Wales for partnership in their first commercial product prototype development of a novel non-contact optical profilometer technology, and is ready for performance demonstrations using its existing laboratory system.

Current technology status/capabilities

NanoOptometrics has a working and proven technology for non-contact profilometry to measure form, topography, and roughness of surfaces, with capabilities well beyond any currently available optical profilometer system. The capabilities and differentiation from other competing solutions are demonstrated in the following table.





Field of View (FOV)

Up to 300 mm

In single image

Large single sample capacity, or simultaneous measurement of many small parts arrayed for mass-processing

Step height

or Z-feature height

Up to 100 mm

Z-feature capacity 10 times greater than other technologies

Lateral resolution

Defined by FOV and camera resolution

Available camera resolution up to 12 megapixel

Absolute accuracy

1 nm

For step heights < 500 nm

Vibration insensitivity

Built-in algorithm

No large mass base or air table requirement

Measurement distance

Up to 1 meter

Flexibility to implement system in-situ to the process flow or equipment

Selectivity along


Independent multi-surface characterization

Measure surfaces behind other optical elements, for example measure sample mounted in environmental chamber


*Selectivity along the line of the sight means that the Profilometer can measure optical distances between optical surfaces which situated behind other optical elements. This feature is illustrated on the figure below. The Profilometer can measure arbitrary optical surface on the right of the figure relatively to any other optical surface. Examples of such surfaces are shown on the figure by red lines. In this case distribution of optical thickness of the optical element is measured.


NOM technology readiness level (TRL) represents a working laboratory prototype of the profilometer, ready for performance demonstration. Successful proof-of-concept measurements have been completed for several applications in hard disk drive industry.


NOM profilometer configuration and industry-unique features

NanoOptoMetrics profilometer can be configured as a small FOV system, large FOV system, or with both combined in a single system.  Mechanical architecture of the system is flexible depending on the required field of view, axial feature size, and the type of implementation. The table below summarizes NOM’s unique capabilities compared to systems of other companies.

NOM Profilometer

Field of View(FOV)

NOM Industry-Unique Capabilities

Concise Statement

Competitors Evaluated

Small FOV

0.5 mm to 10 mm
(competitors typically <15 mm)

 - Fizeau interferometer and plane beam illumination enable better capability to measure deep or high aspect ratio structures
 - Tolerant to vibration w/o vibro-isolating table

NOM has industry-unique measurement capability for deep trench and high aspect ratio stuctures, and built-in vibration isolation algorithm.

Bruker, Zygo, Taylor-Hobson, Nikon, Leica

Large FOV
(Large aperture)

10 mm to 300 mm
(competitors typically 100 mm and greater)

 - 100 mm feature height capacity
 - Step height and complex topography
 - Discontinuous surfaces
 - Optical thickness of films and plates
 - Surface waviness measurement

NOM is only company that combines large FOV with capability to measure complex and discontinuous surface topography with feature heights up to 100 mm.

4D Technology, Zygo, KLA-Tencor


Performance demonstrations:

NOM has successfully carried out performance demonstrations and sample measurements for several companies worldwide, and is calling out any potential clients in Wales who would be interested in testing NOM’s technology capabilities.

NOM has demonstrated capability to inspect a sample containing 1,500 precision devices with a single measurement taking 1.5 minutes. Existing technologies are limited to measuring each device separately, which takes an impractical amount of time, therefore only a small percentage of devices are measured.  NOM capability delivers impressive reductions in cost of measurement in addition to 100% data availability.

With 100% arrayed device data, performance variation for any parameter of interest can easily be analysed and visualized by device position, allowing more thorough understanding of spatially dependent process variation.

Call for partners

NOM is looking for partners in Wales who would like to co-invest in first commercial product development & prototyping or has an unsolved metrology challenge that fits with NOM’s technology unique capabilities. NOM is looking for factory champions, industry expertise, potential clients and strategic partners for from semiconductors, precision mechanics, MEMS, optics, microfluidics, automotive, aerospace and other industries that involves high-tech manufacturing and surface metrology R&D.

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