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Photonics Design and Solutions

Photonics Spectra
Jul 2001
A Better Roughness Gauge?

Mike Coursey

We, as polishers, are constantly pursuing the perfect surface. We want it flat -- very flat -- and we want it smooth -- very smooth. But what does that really mean? Is root mean square (rms) surface roughness the answer? We can take rms readings to angstrom and even subangstrom levels, and we have been doing that for a very long time, but is that the magic cure-all to surface quality?

For years, we have designed ideal surfaces around rms surface roughness measurements and developed the technology of polishing to accomplish subangstrom levels on some surfaces. We developed software and metrology hardware to analyze these surfaces...


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