Collaborative Research: Edge Surface Topography Characterization for Precision Sensing Technology
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Surface topography is a fundamental property for the industrial products, and the number of applications keeps increasing, making the need for adequate control of surfaces and understanding of those topography properties. Surface topography characterization techniques are the backbone of broad research areas and industrial applications such as roughness and texture measurements that are dominantly studied by using atomic force microscopes, scanning electron microscopes or touch-triggered stylus profilers. Currently, there is no way to measure or quantify the edge surface topography other than visually, and the edge surface topography properties and characteristics have not been well-documented. There is a knowledge gap in the fundamental understanding of the edge surface topography and on methodologies for its measurement and characterization. This fundamental research program will utilize optical knife edge diffraction characteristics that can enhance signal-to-noise ratio of sensing sensitivity. The successful implementation of this research will potentially lead to a fundamental shift in measurement methodologies that can be used for a variety of edge surface sensing, monitoring, and inspection for atomic force microscopy probes, diamond cutting tools, grinding wheels, spindles, and milling tools. Research findings will be disseminated through publications, technical presentations, and educational activities, including at the university-level and through outreach efforts spearheaded by the investigators.This project will test the fundamental hypothesis by creating a novel measurement and characterization paradigm in order to find fundamental issues in the relationship between the edge surface topography properties with edge diffraction characteristics. The investigators will generate the edge surface topography patterns with various roughness, sharpness, shape, and materials on edges by using 3D printing, precision grinding, diamond scribing, silicon wet etching, and laser scribing processes. Furthermore, the project will study whether multiple edge sensors can be combined to improve edge detection sensitivity, and how those topologies can be instrumented for validation using experimental techniques. The theoretical and experimental activities in this research will be used to discover fundamental sensing limits of edge surface topography metrology techniques. As a result, a deterministic will be built to enable the quantification of the edge surface topography properties and to establish fundamental design principles in edge surface topography for precision sensing applications.