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LNE, Digital Surf to Cooperate on Surface Metrology

January 29, 2009

Under the cooperation agreement, LNE (the French National Metrology Institute) will use Digital Surf's surface analysis and nanometrology products in its work to develop measurement standards and analysis methods.


TRAPPES AND BESANÇON, France -- The LNE, the French National Metrology Institute, and Digital Surf, the surface metrology solutions provider, announced that they have signed a technical cooperation agreement. The LNE will join Digital Surf's Mount Shasta programme with internationally reputed laboratories that use Digital Surf's MountainsMap surface imaging and analysis software.

The LNE develops measurement standards and measurement, test and analysis methods to facilitate innovation, assure product quality and protect consumers. It also develops and maintains metrological references to provide traceability to the international SI system. The LNE uses MountainsMap in its Dimensional Nanometrology Research Programme and a number of other programmes including NanoRef and NanoFeu (financed by ANR, the French National Research Agency).

NanoFeu programme. MountainsMap 3D image of a surface impacted by nanoparticles produced during the combustion of nanocharged polymers.

The Dimensional Nanometrology Programme will help to meet the needs of French industry for dimensional metrology at the nanometric scale and form a basis for cooperation with other national metrology institutes. Within the framework of the programme, the LNE will provide the ability to measure reference standards that are traceable to the national measurement standard for length, establish the levels of uncertainty associated with different types of measurement, and measure advanced products. It is currently developing a metrological AFM to calibrate standards dedicated to SPM applications. MountainsMap is integrated in this instrument for surface visualization and analysis.

The goal of the NanoRef programme, involving multiple partners (LP-CNAM, INM, LPUB, Institut Fresnel, Novasic and LNE), is to develop a roughness standard with a quasi-continuum spatial frequency spectrum and to define the appropriate machining and polishing processes. In this context, the LNE has used an AFM (Atomic Force Microscope) and MountainsMap to measure and analyze the roughness of strips of glass subjected to hydrofluoric acid attacks of different durations. The results of the NanoRef programme will be of interest in numerous domains including tribology, optoelectronics, automotive, precision mechanics, semi-conductors and metrology.

The LNE is one of the participants in the NanoFeu programme with INERIS, ARMINES, ISMANS and Plastics Europe France. This programme is concerned with the evaluation of a new fire retardant technology based upon the introduction of nanocharges into polymer matrices that has emerged as an alternative to traditional flame retardant treatments. MountainsMap is used to analyze surfaces impacted by nanoparticles produced during the combustion of nanocharged polymers.

"MountainsMap is an industry standard and our participation in its future evolution is part of the LNE's nanometrology initiative," stated Dr. Sébastien Ducourtieux, head of the LNE's Nanometrology unit at Trappes. "MountainsMap is used in cutting edge LNE progammes to visualize and analyze measurement data generated by a wide range of standard and experimental instruments, in particular scanning probe microscopes."

"Nanometrology is strategic for Digital Surf," stated François Blateyron, Managing Director of Digital Surf's Mountains Surface Analysis Business Unit. "Feedback from the LNE will help us to ensure that MountainsMap not only meets current needs but also meets future needs in this market."

About the LNE
The LNE (French National Metrology Institute), founded in 1901, facilitates innovation by developing measurement, test and analysis methods relating to the integration of new technologies and the development of new products. It develops standards and provides technical solutions required to assure product quality and compliance. The LNE is a centre of excellence in metrology and the LNE's multi-disciplinary experts play an important role in improving measurement quality on all levels: scientific, industrial and legal. With nine sites in France, North America and Asia, and a staff of over 750, the LNE's domains of activity include metrology, health, construction, environment, electrical engineering, transport, packaging and conditioning, and consumer products. It has 9,000 clients (more than 70% in industry) and issues over 25,000 test reports and calibration certificates a year.

About Digital Surf
Digital Surf, founded in 1989, is a leading provider of solutions for surface metrology. The company supplies imaging and analysis software for use with surface metrology instruments 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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