Snapshot Interferometer for Surface Profile and Roughness

Case ID:

Researchers at the University of Arizona have designed an instrument that can take a "snapshot" of a surface's profile and roughness simultaneously. The non-contact metrology tool is high speed with high sensitivity, precision, and resolution. It can be used with a variety of light sources across various applications.


Metrology is an integral part of the automated manufacturing process. As new processes become automated, new technology must be developed to handle the imaging of more complex parts quickly, while being low-cost, scalable and, in many cases, portable. Instruments exist to measure either surface profile or surface roughness, but it would be more cost efficient to have a single instrument which could do both.



  • Form measuring machines
  • Surface roughness measurement
  • Contour measuring tools
  • Roundness measurement
  • Portable metrology
  • In line metrology


  • Captures the profile and roughness in one take
  • Reduces imaging processing time
  • Longer coherence lengths than traditional light sources
  • Has multiple embodiments allowing for different applications
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Kennedy Nyairo
Sr. Licensing Manager, Optical Sciences
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Stanley Pau
Rongguang Liang