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Nikon Instruments Introduces LV-DAF for Full System Integration with Eclipse LV Microscope Series

July 15, 2008

Nikon's New Dynamic Auto-Focus Unit Delivers Fast, Versatile Auto-Focus Using Novel Hybrid Auto-Focus System

MELVILLE, N.Y., July 15, 2008 -- Nikon Instruments Inc. (http://www.nikoninstruments.com/) announced its new Dynamic Auto-Focus unit, the LV-DAF, bringing fast, versatile auto-focus to the Eclipse LV semiconductor inspection microscope series and OEM applications. Featuring the newly developed Hybrid Auto-Focus system, the LV-DAF offers a large focus range and fast tracking ability through a combination of slit projection and contrast detection auto focus. The result is a highly-versatile system that can be used for a wide range of imaging techniques.

In pairing the two auto-focus technologies, the LV-DAF provides a focal range that is significantly larger than with contrast detection alone. This means that samples with distortion on their surface, such as liquid crystal substrate, can now be rapidly tracked, enabling speedy focusing. To further support sample variety, the LV-DAF uses a bright light LED for the auto-focus light source. This allows the system to focus on wide range of samples ranging from low to high reflectivity. A wide range of observation methods is also supported, including brightfield, darkfield and differential interference contrast (DIC), as well as reflective and transparent samples.

"The LV microscopes are known for their unprecedented versatility for OEM applications as well as for wafer inspection," said Mike Metzger, General Manager, Sales and Marketing. "In developing the LV-DAF, Nikon has been able to expand those offerings even further and provide superior options to our industrial customers."

The Auto-Adjustment Program, which is included as standard, enables simple and speedy system setup. The program performs immediate auto-adjustment after the user focuses the system and presses the button to start the setup. It is also possible to automatically set optimal parameters for each type of sample and recall them in accordance to the sample being photographed.

The LV-DAF can be controlled from a PC or a DS-L2 digital camera system for microscopes via USB or RS232C. The controller features the same hardware design as the LV-ECON and has a compact footprint that allows them to be stacked on each other and used anywhere. Additionally, Nikon provides a software development kit to help ease integration of the LV-DAF into a variety of systems.

About Nikon Instruments Inc.

Nikon Instruments Inc. is a world leader in the development and manufacture of optical and digital imaging technology for biomedical and industrial applications. Now in its 90th year, Nikon provides complete optical systems that offer optimal versatility, performance and productivity. Cutting-edge instruments include microscopes, precision measuring equipment, digital imaging products and software. Nikon Instruments is the microscopy and instrumentation arm of Nikon Inc., the world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology. For more information, visit http://www.nikoninstruments.com/. Product-related inquiries may be directed to Nikon Instruments at 800-52-NIKON.

CONTACT: Nicole Mudloff of Peppercom, +1-212-931-6168,
nmudloff@peppercom.com, for Nikon Instruments

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Products: Eclipse LV-DAF