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ICMAB and Digital Surf Sign Cooperation Agreement

March 21, 2008

The agreement will expand Digital Surf's surface metrology surface analysis software deployment within the Spanish advanced materials research institute, while ICMAB will provide technical feedback relating to surface analysis.


Bellatera, Spain and Besançon, France -- ICMAB - CSIC (Institut de Ciéncia de Materials de Barcelona, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas), the advanced materials research institute at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and Digital Surf, the surface metrology solutions provider, announced that they have signed a cooperation agreement. The agreement falls within the framework of Digital Surf's Mount Shasta technical cooperation program with internationally reputed laboratories engaged in scientific research and already using Digital Surf's MountainsMap surface analysis software. Under the agreement the MountainsMap installed base at ICMAB will be expanded and ICMAB will provide Digital Surf with technical feedback pertinent to the development of future generations of MountainsMap software.

ICMAB carries out advanced materials research in numerous fields. The institute is engaged in projects and research contracts for the synthesis, preparation, crystallization and characterization of functional high-performance materials, including nanomaterials, and has constructed several device prototypes. Current projects include the self-assembly of nanostructures for superconducting wires using chemical solution deposition (CSD), magnetic systems for spintronics, self-assembled supramolecular wires for molecular electronics, and many other applications including renewable energies and biomaterials.

Advanced materials research and surface engineering require state of the art surface measurement equipment and surface visualisation and analysis software. ICMAB uses several scanning probe microscopes (SPMs) from Agilent Technologies and NanoTec Electrónica, and MountainsMap surface analysis software from Digital Surf.

Software based on Digital Surf's Mountains technology, including MountainsMap and custom software integrated by surface metrology instrument manufacturers worldwide, is a reference in 2D/3D/4D surface analysis. The software is continuously updated to include the latest industry standards and methods and to incorporate innovations from Digital Surf's specialists in surface metrology.

Advanced productivity features in the latest version, MountainsMap version 5, include an analysis workflow that provides full metrological traceablity and allows the user to add a new analysis step, fine tune a step or delete a step at any time. Everything is recalculated automatically. A finished document can be used as a template for analysing other measurement data sets. Minidocs (pre-defined sequences of analysis steps or macros) can also be created for use in an analysis document to save time. MountainsMap version 5 also contains numerous innovative features including the the ability to simulate flights over surfaces and generate .avi files for integration into perfect presentations, and the 4D visualisation and statistical analysis of series of surfaces as they evolve in time.

MountainsMap inputs and processes multi-layer SPM files, including topography, phase, current, deflection and other layers. Reports are generated using an intuitive multi-language desktop publishing user interface. A wide range of filters can be applied to enhance image quality and to separate different frequencies. A comprehensive set of studies include dimensional control, the analysis of grains, particles and nano-islands, and advanced spectral and autocorrelation analyses. A unique feature of the software is its ability to partition a surface into sub-surfaces and to analyse a sub-surface in exactly the same way as a full surface. The software is compliant with international and national standards, including the new ISO 25178 standard, the first international standard on areal surface texture, and the ISO 16610 standard which specifies advanced filtering techniques.

"ICMAB has carried out numerous studies using MountainsMap surface analysis software since we started using it in 2005," stated Dr. Angel Pérez del Pino, senior technical specialist at ICMAB, in charge of SPM surface metrology, and author or co-author of over 20 published scientific papers. "The software contains powerful and easy to use functions for visualising and analysing SPM measurement data. ICMAB is pleased to be able to participate officially in the evolution of the software, especially in the domain of nanotechnology."

"We are very pleased to have signed a technical cooperation agreement with an institute of the calibre of ICMAB, which is a leader in several areas of nanotechnology research," stated Christophe Mignot, CEO of Digital Surf. "Enhancing MountainsMap software to support cutting edge applications in a seamless and straightforward way is an important component of Digital Surf's strategy."

About ICMAB - CSIC
ICMAB - CSIC (Institut de Ciéncia de Materials de Barcelona), founded in 1989, carries out advanced materials research in fields including molecular and supramolecular materials, crystallography and solid state chemistry, molecular nanoscience and organic materials, magnetic and superconducting materials, and electronic materials and crystal growth. The institute organises numerous conferences and congresses. Its Scientific and Technological Services unit provides a wide range of scientific and technical services to industry.

About Digital Surf
Digital Surf, founded in 1989, is a leading provider of solutions for surface metrology. The company supplies analysis software for 2D/3D surface texture based on its Mountains technology, modular, expandable control systems for driving multi-gauge, multi-axis profilometers based on its Volcanyon technology, and high precision confocal chromatic optical distance gauges based on its Nobis technology, to metrology instrument manufacturers, research laboratories and industry worldwide.


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