In many mesoscale parts (> 100μm) with microscale features (100nm to 100μm), the edge can constitute a large percentage of the total feature size. These edges need to be measured and characterized. Unfortunately, very few tools exist that are able to measure a range of angles with a resolution appropriate to these parts. The measurement methods commonly used to characterize mesoscale parts are designed for nominally planar surfaces and fail when used on a surface with moderate slope. Other tools exist which can adequately capture a sloping surface, however they have characteristics which make them less desirable for edge measurement (contact, destructive, image-output). The confocal laser scanning microscope (CLSM) is a non-contact method which has special properties that allow it to measure sloping surfaces of various materials and finishes. This paper will discuss the CLSM and its ability to measure edges of mesoscale parts.

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