Nanotronics Announces US Patent for Improving Super-Resolution Imaging
Nanotronics, an innovator in AI-enhanced industrial inspection and automation, announced today the issuance of U.S. Patent No. 10,169,852, expanding its Super-Resolution imaging portfolio. This proprietary system identifies and classifies defects at lower resolutions than traditional inspection microscopy, providing faster scan times and enhanced throughput. The use of lower magnifications to identify defects that are traditionally only visible at higher magnifications or with specialized microscopes (e.g., Atomic Force Microscopy, Electron Microscopy) simplifies the data-acquisition process and produces images that are less susceptible to noise and focus-related artifacts. The resulting whole-sample images produce greater detection confidence, better yields, and speed time to market.
The patent was granted just a month after Nanotronics was issued a patent for automatic microscope focus, which uses two offset-focus cameras to facilitate faster focusing.
"Tomorrow’s manufacturing processes require solutions that push beyond the limits of traditional microscopy," says Matthew Putman, Nanotronics CEO and Cofounder. "Nanotronics is building a patent estate that combines Super-Resolution inspection, robotics, and AI to give our company further inroads into sectors such as quantum, next-generation electronics, and genomics. The market for these sectors will continue to expand."
A single inspection system can have more than one objective, each with a different resolving power. Higher resolution objectives capture more detail but suffer decreased throughput due to smaller fields of view. By combining lower resolution images with the aid of artificial intelligence models, inspection platforms can synthesize higher resolution images without sacrificing speed or accuracy.
In addition, while all optical inspection instruments are inherently limited by natural phenomena, computationally created Super-Resolution images can surpass the physical limitations of a given inspection system, such as the Abbe limit.
"This invention offers a practical method to significantly accelerate semiconductor-inspection workflow without sacrificing detection accuracy," explains Vadim Pinskiy, VP of R&D at Nanotronics. "The approach integrates AI directly into the hardware to create a dynamic process for acquisition and analysis."
Manufacturers across every sector, from semiconductors and consumer products to quantum sensors and medical diagnostic technologies, need to inspect products, devices, and materials for uniformity and anomalies. However, traditional inspection systems no longer meet the growing and increasingly sophisticated needs of many of these sectors. Employing artificial intelligence to enhance the resolution power of optical inspection systems ultimately results in improved manufacturing processes and yields.
Building on its legacy of revolutionizing optical inspection for the most advanced manufacturers in nanotechnology, semiconductors, aerospace, and health, Nanotronics is at the forefront of redefining process control through artificial intelligence. Nanotronics accelerates R&D into production, while reducing waste and footprint. To learn more visit https://nanotronics.co.