Precision Straight Edges

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Straight Edges Sub-microinch (< 25 nm) flatness, up to 1 meter in length

Precision straight edges and structures
Precision straight edges and structures
Interferometer measurement of a straight edge
Straight edge verified by a ZYGO interferometer
Key Features

• Flatness/Straightness: < 1 µin (25 nm) over entire length

• Materials: glass, glass-ceramic, ceramic, and low CTE options, such as CLEARCERAM®, ULE®, or ZERODUR®

• Also available: L-mirrors and alignment blocks, with angle tolerances of < 2 arc sec

A straight edge is an optical component with at least one very precise flat used as a reference surface. Even though many different configurations are possible, a straight edge typically has a high aspect ratio, is typically made of very low Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE) material, has an optical quality surface and most importantly a highly precise surface with very low flatness.

Straight Edges are available from manufacturers in a variety of materials, such as metals, granite, glass, and ceramic, and are available in various tolerances (deviation from the ideal). The straight edge you select depends on the tolerance requirements of the application. A machinist's straight edge may have a tolerance of 25 µm (0.001 inch) over its length, and some higher-precision straight edges may have a tolerance of only 1 µm.

ZYGO specializes in extreme precision straight edges for applications requiring flatness tolerances as stringent as 25 nm (or less) – approximately 1000 times better than a machinist's straight edge – and we maintain that tolerance over the entire reference surface, up to 1 meter in length. The quality of all ZYGO straight edges is verified by our large-aperture interferometer systems, and test results are included with the product.

Choosing the Best Material

Materials we use include glasses, ceramics, and low-CTE materials such as CLEARCERAM®, ULE®, or ZERODUR®. These materials are better suited for high precision applications than metal due to their extreme thermal stability, e.g. CTE < 50 part per billion, per degree, yet they can be readily integrated with metal structures or assemblies. ZYGO can help you determine which material is best for your particular application.

ZYGO can also perform glass and ceramic machining to create reference surfaces in other shapes, such as L-mirrors and alignment blocks, with complex geometries and precision angles with tolerances of < 2 arc sec.

Inquiry Form – Straight Edges
Please use the form below to contact us with any questions you have regarding precision straight edges, or any of ZYGO's Optics business segment's products, services, or capabilities.

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