Introduction: The History and Current State of 3D Surface Characterisation

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This chapter traces the history and discusses the current state of 3-D surface characterization. In the early 1980s many researchers in the academic community were experimenting with the characterization of surfaces in 3 dimensions. The group at Coventry developed a system of hardware with supporting software, which eventually became the first prototype for the first commercial software package and provided the first comprehensive range of surface visualization techniques. During the period of development of the more traditional stylus type instrumentation huge progress was made in the USA with regard to the development of optical interferometric systems. These systems were capable at a very early stage (in advance of commercial 3-D stylus systems) of rapid 3D surface measurement on a range of relatively smooth surfaces and the manufacturers aimed their instrumentation at the burgeoning silicon wafer market and to a lesser extent the optics industries. These instruments were the first group of real stand-alone 3D surface measurement instruments and have made a great impact in the field of surface characterization.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvanced Techniques for Assessment Surface Topography
Subtitle of host publicationDevelopment of a Basis for 3D Surface Texture Standards "Surfstand"
EditorsLiam Blunt, Xiangqian Jiang
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780080526522
ISBN (Print)9781903996119
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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