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Application Notes

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Measuring the volume of adhesive drops

Micron-sized shape measurement using a laser microscope



1.  Application

Mobile equipment such as smartphones and cell phones, compact cameras, car navigation displays, car stereos, and other electronic equipment are made up of numerous parts and need to function correctly in both high- and low-temperature environments. When electronic equipment expands or contracts due to changes in temperature, the adhesives used to bond components in the mobile equipment can loosen, negatively affecting the performance of the equipment. Therefore, it is important for the adhesives to be resistant to a wide range of temperatures. To evaluate the adhesive’s performance, manufacturers measure the volume of the adhesive drops at different temperatures. 

2.  The Olympus solution

Thanks to dedicated objective lenses with high numerical apertures and an optical system optimized to obtain maximum performance from the 405 nm semiconductor laser, Olympus' OLS4100 3D scanning laser microscope can capture the profile of an adhesive drop without making contact with the viscous adhesive. Equipped with a photomultiplier that can capture weak reflections, the microscope can easily obtain the surface profile of a low-reflection transparent sample, which would be difficult to capture with a conventional optical system. By performing volume measurement using the height data obtained via these features, the contraction and expansion of adhesives before and after thermal tests can be quantitatively measured, enabling the selection of a material less affected by thermal changes.


(1)  3D image

volume of the adhesive_ob20×_3D

(2)  Volume of the adhesive drops

volume of the adhesive_ob20×_volume

Products used for this application


With the Olympus LEXT OLS4100 laser scanning digital microscope non-contact 3D observations and measurements of surface features at 10 nanometer resolutions are easy to produce. The OLS4100 industrial microscope has distinctive features for fast image acquisition and high-resolution microscope images over a wider area.
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