Laboratory and R&D

Laboratory and R&D

The first ultrasonic systems manufactured by USL were introduced into laboratory and R&D communities in 1987, when a scanning acoustic microscope was designed. This operated at ultrasonic frequencies up to 75MHz with a scan area of around 300 x 300mm and was used in the semiconductor development and packaging industries.

Early customers in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s included European research organisations such as EMPA (Swiss Federal Research Institute, VTT (Technical Research Centre of Finland) and the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany. Some of these early systems are still in use today.

Since then we have supplied similar and other systems to a range of organisations, including:

  • Oxford University
  • Limerick University
  • Bath University
  • Southampton University
  • Albright International (UK, Lithuania and China
  • Dynex Semiconductor
  • Element Six
  • Tata Steel
  • Voest Alpine Steel

The applications are wide ranging, some examples being:

  • Research into the performance and properties of composite materials.
  • Inspection of bonding quality in silicon on silicon structures.
  • Thickness measurement of polycrystalline diamond coatings.
  • Routine measurements of brazed joint quality on high voltage switching contacts.
  • Assessment of high power semiconductor modules and research into manufacturing processes.
  • Volumetric inclusion counting in the steel industry, replacing laborious micro-sectioning and optical analysis.
  • Transducer characterisation.