Optical EngineeringNew method for the measurement of surface variations using a microdevice and a scanning electron microscope
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A technique for measuring the contour of a specimen’s surface is developed. A small microdevice produced by a micromachining technique and the electron beam scan of a scanning electron microscope (SEM) are used for this method. A small microgrid consisting of microsquare bars is placed over the specimen’s surface and obstructs the back-scattered electrons. Therefore, the shadows of the microbars are observed in the SEM image. The distance between the microgrid and the specimen’s surface can be calculated using the width of the shadow. This method makes it possible to detect the form of the specimen’s surface. As a demonstration, the shape of the Rockwell hardness tester’s indent mark is measured and the accuracy of this method is discussed.