NPL Purchases 3rd Alicona Infinite Focus System

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL)  is the UK’s National Measurement Institute and is a world-leading Centre of excellence in developing and applying the most accurate measurement standards and science and technology available.

Alicona are proud to announce that they have installed a 3rd InfiniteFocus system for Materials Characterisation at this high profile and influential location.




The Alicona/NPL relationship started in 2007 when NPL’s Advanced Engineered Materials Group purchased the first InfiniteFocus G3; this was followed in 2009 with the purchase of the InfiniteFocus G4 system.

With these systems in frequent use and demand increasing they made the decision in 2014 to acquire the InfiniteFocus G5 system. This system, with its improvement in acquisition and measurement speed, will provide increased measurement capacity in this busy measurement centre.

As the UK’s leader in measurement technology, NPL provides and develops and recommends innovative and high performance measurement solutions to many industries and research institutions.

As part of this they need to have innovative and flexible measurement solutions to allow them to deal with and manage the very wide range of applications that they are presented with. The Alicona InfiniteFocus systems provide this flexibility with accuracy and ease of use providing an invaluable resource that can be used by many people. 

Facility Leader Eric Bennett, stated “We’ve used optical 3D measurement for a number of years but the Alicona systems offer’s some significant advantages, particularly characterizing small features over a relatively large area. The resolution which now goes down to 10 nm allows analysis of structures and damage in fine detail.However this is only part of the story. The flexibility and ease of use of the systems means that we can allow our users open access to the systems with a minimum amount of training, which means greater productivity in the Group. Also the ability to measure both form and finish in one system is a great advantage for us.”


InfiniteFocus is an optical 3D micro coordinate system for form and roughness measurement based on the principle of FocusVariation.

This technique provides a vertical resolution down to 10 nm on large measurement areas and volumes. The system performs repeatably, and can be used to make traceable measurement. Users benefit from a system that provides the advantages of a coordinate measurement system with those of a surface measurement instrument allowing form and measurement from a single system.



Contact: Brian Kyte

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