New Spectral Reflectance (kSA SpectR) Tool Released
We are excited to announce the release of kSA SpectR, a complete non-contact metrology solution for measuring absolute spectral reflectance, L*a*b* color parameters, and growth rate. This tool has many applications for in situ monitoring and process control, including vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), distributed Bragg reflectors (DBRs), and other complex device structures. Thin-film production and research facilities can use this tool in sputtering, MBE, and MOCVD growth methods.
The kSA SpectR optics are configured in a specular reflectance geometry. For growth rate determination, we utilize a method that was developed and patented at Sandia National Laboratory and is licensed to us. In this approach, the fitting routine restarts with each new layer, treating the underlying film stack as a “virtual” substrate. The kSA SpectR can perform measurements simultaneously at multiple wavelengths, each of which offers potential advantages. This tool easily measures custom spectral features, such as reflectance minima, maxima, inflection points, or baseline scatter level, over a user-defined wavelength range of interest.
Darryl Barlett, CEO of k-Space, stated, “This tool, like many of our tools, is the direct result of a specific customer need. When the customer came to us, we listened to their measurement requirements and then designed a system, incorporating Sandia National Laboratory’s technology, that worked for their application. As the complexity of thin-film layers advances, so does the need for metrology that measures the right parameters for yield and performance. This system has the capability to work on complex thin-film structures, including applications such as precisely determining the Fabry-Perot dip during DBR growth.”
To learn more about the kSA Spectra, visit https://www.k-space.com/product/ksa-spectr/.
X-Ray Fluouresence (kSA XRF) Tool Now Available
As we continue to expand our industrial metrology product line, we are excited to introduce the newest addition, kSA XRF (X-Ray Fluorescence). This metrology system measures the layer thickness of metal films and dielectric films that are too thin for reliable optical measurements. It provides inline measurements for films on many substrates and applications, including glass and solar panels.
The system is comprised of an X-ray tube with a high-voltage generator and an X-ray detector system. The system identifies the spectral peaks for the X-ray emission spectrum and collects the peak intensities for further processing. The tool measures the appropriate atomic species based on the customer’s coating formula and measurement needs. We can integrate this tool into existing QC systems and add alarms to flag thickness issues in real-time.
Darryl Barlett, CEO of k-Space, stated, “We developed a solution for one of our customers who needed to measure the thickness of coating layers that were less than 100 nm thick. Our team of physicists and engineers took the production environment into account and designed this tool for inline measurement that provides real-time results. Because there is a growing need for this type of tool, k-Space decided to make it a regular offering in our industrial product line. We think that it will be beneficial to any business that needs to measure coatings that are outside of the reliable optical thickness range.”
To learn more about the kSA XRF, visit https://www.k-space.com/industrial-metrology/solar-panel-inspection/
Introducing the kSA RCM (Reflectance and Color Metrology)
Our third product announcement of the quarter is the release of kSA RCM (reflectance and color metrology) to our industrial metrology product line. We engineered the kSA RCM tool to measure absolute, real-time spectral reflectance and color to ensure consistency across reflective surfaces such as glass lites and solar panels.
The tool measures and provides real-time feedback for process control of color and reflectance, which is essential to yield and quality. The kSA RCM consists of an optics head attached to a dual linear-stage system to scan the panel or lite. It sends a beam of light incident to the panel, and the spectrometer collects the reflected light. The k-Space software analyzes and stores the acquired data, measuring absolute spectral reflectance and Lab* color parameters. k-Space can integrate this technology into an existing QC system, PLC, or factory database.
“What makes our industrial metrology product line unique is our ability to customize the technology and integrate it into our customers’ existing systems. k-Space is known for working closely with our customers to learn their needs and then designing systems that fulfill their specific requirements. Each piece of equipment that we install at an industrial customer site is unique to their facility and their specific applications. We have received a lot of positive feedback from our customers, and they have told us they value our ability to incorporate our tools into their existing manufacturing environment,” stated Darryl Barlett, CEO of k-Space.
For more information about the kSA RCM, visit our website at https://www.k-space.com/industrial-metrology/glass-inspection/.
New Technical Sales Engineer With Thin Film and Solar Expertise
We are excited to announce the addition of Dave Winarski as k-Space’s newest Technical Sales Engineer. He comes to us with extensive knowledge of thin-film growth, processing, and characterization. His background includes a PhD from Bowling Green State University for his research on ZnO. In addition to his academic credentials, he has several years of industry experience with thin film and solar applications.
Dave stated, “I appreciate the opportunity to join k-Space and help provide quality metrology solutions to industrial and laboratory environments. I’m excited to be a part of this team and to help customers achieve continued success with current and future technologies.”
Dave is based out of our Dexter, MI office and focuses on helping our customers in the thin film and glass industries around the globe. Hopefully, you will have the chance to meet him in person at industry trade shows in 2022!