SCALA is based on the combined action of an automated laser system and a photodetector (PSD). The laser system is capable of performing two-dimensional scans, while the PSD is used for the acquisition of the reflected beam on the observed sample. The combination of these elements makes it possible to perform accurate analysis of the topography of the surface analyzed. Simultaneously the dynamical behavior of moving MEMS can be studied.
With this approach, we get the following data regarding the analyzed sample: Intensity of the reflected signal (I) and the derivative of the topography (variation of the X, Y position of the laser spot on the PSD). This makes SCALA a tool that can be used simultaneously as an optical microscope (by analyzing the intensity of the reflected signal) and as a profilometer (integrating the derivative of the topography).
Mecwins has developed SCALA as a specialized reading system of micro and nanomechanical sensors, used as biosensors.
The ability to move the laser spot over a large surface allows detecting the motion of arrays of hundreds of sensors.
During the analysis of mechanical sensors, SCALA can be used in the two mechanisms for reading:
- Static: The formation of bonds on the surface of the sensor generates a quasi-static deflection detectable by analyzing the motion of a single point of the sensor (single point) or along the entire length of the sensor (full profile).
- Dynamic: Thanks to an additional module, the sensor is mechanically excited to vibrate at its natural resonant frequency while the amplitude of oscillation is monitored by SCALA. Using the dynamic mode without applying mechanical excitation, you can also analyze the thermal noise.