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Line Confocal Imaging

Patented Optical Design Delivering Precision 2D/3D Scanning and Measurement

Line Confocal Imaging (LCI) technology is a patented optical metrology technology for measuring microscopic-scale dimensions and tomographic structures.

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Chromatic Confocal Imaging Technology

CHROMATIC CONFOCAL SCANNING

LCI technology is based on an optical method called lateral chromatic aberration where white light emitting from a sensor’s transmitter is split into a continuous spectrum of wavelengths.

Reflected wavelengths that are “in focus” (return through a pinhole) map to height variations. This technology is available in co-axial design for single and multi-point geometries, and off-axis design for line geometry.

WHITE LED PROJECTION

Each LCI sensor has two front lenses—one for its transmitter and another for the receiver. In the transmitter of a line confocal sensor, a powerful white LED functions as the light source. The light contains all visible wavelengths and passes through the illumination optics. A complex optical assembly separates the light into wavelengths and focuses a horizontal line of each color at a different distance from the sensor, forming a focal plane.

Line Confocal Sensor White LED Projector
Line Confocal imaging Specialized Optics

SPECIALIZED IMAGING OPTICS

The imaging optics in the receiver containing various optical elements such as slits and prisms, which collect wavelength and intensity data from each horizontal line and transfer the data into the spectral camera. In the camera, CMOS arrays are formed based on the dominant wavelength and highest intensity information of each data point. The dominant wavelength reflected to the sensor’s receiver depends on the distance between the transmitter and each of the measured points.

The whole focal plane is reflected onto the receiver and the sensor analyzes thousands of measurement points at once. The 2D and 3D images are created based on the acquired CMOS data.

ADVANTAGES OF LINE CONFOCAL IMAGING

Line confocal imaging has a number of unique advantages over other machine vision technologies.

  • Analyses do not require any additional filtering: the imaging is based on the raw data, so what you see is what you measure
  • Any color combination can be measured: matte or glossy, dark or light
  • All surface types can be measured: mirror-like, glossy, transparent, translucent, curved, convex, concave, soft, fragile, porous
  • Provides laboratory-level resolution and accuracy for high-speed imaging
Advantages of Line Confocal Imaging
Line Confocal Imaging Applications

APPLICATIONS FOR LINE CONFOCAL IMAGING

Line Confocal Imaging technology is used for 3D topography, 3D tomography, and 2D intensity imaging in demanding applications requiring sub-micron resolution and high measurement speed.

The most common applications of LCI technology are: 

  • Measurement of curved edge mobile phone displays
  • Roughness analysis of transparent and non-transparent surfaces
  • Defect detection on multilayer components
  • Offset, step height, layer thickness, air gaps, clearance, distance, angle, area, volume, and coplanarity analyses in various industries
  • Burr height analyses in the metal industry
  • Seal integrity analysis of medical packages
  • Various analyses in printed, hybrid, flexible, and organic electronics
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