SCALA Technology

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:

    1. 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).
    2. 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.

All tests can be performed in an environment with controlled temperature and relative humidity.

The operation of SCALA is run by Scala Software Platform. This software consists of various modules with the ability to modify and adapt them to your needs without affecting the overall performance of the software.

Scala Software Platform allows you to:

  • Make 3-D images of the surfaces analyzed
  • Automatically control temperature and humidity
  • Carry out an automatic search of mechanical sensors to be analyzed
  • Measure the deflection of mechanical sensors in single point
  • Measure the surface stress and deflection of the mechanical sensors mode full profile

Everything is easy to use thanks to the user interface through which you can access various functions mentioned.

3D optical readout:

In the Mecwins® platform, the displacement of the read-out laser beam provides a fast acquisition and the capability to follow the full 3D profile of MEMS of any size, shape and design and in real-time.


Taking advantage of our versatile technology, Mecwins develops different products according to the needs of our customers. SCALA is an instrument of interest in diversified fields, from NEMS characterization to clinical analysis. You can find at the following lines the most common configuration and technical specifications of our systems.