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Production sequence of Si-spheres and interferometrical determination of the sphere volume

Precision Engineering

Division 5

Dimensions from several metres down to nanometres — precise dimensional metrology as backbone of a reliable and sustainable industrial production.


It is the main task of the division to assure the traceability of industrial measurements in different length and angle ranges by application of special measuring instruments, methods and standards. Also hardness metrology belongs to its scope. The aim of these activities is to offer traceability to industry in an adequate way and to jointly solve respective measurement challenges.
The research and development activities needed for these tasks focus on new measurement methods, instrumentation and standards. In addition the division is engaged in manufacturing and measurement tasks in the field foundations of metrology. The Scientific Instrumentation offers construction and manufacturing services for special components and precision instruments for the whole PTB.


Precision angle metrology with autocollimators is affected substantially by the refractive index of air and by air pressure in particular. When calibrations obtained at different locations are compared, pressure differences due to weather must be considered. PTB has developed strategies for correcting measuring results and for the uncertainty evaluation.

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The contact resonance method, known from atomic force microscopy, was successfully tested on PTB's profile scanner with 5 mm long piezoresistive micro-probes. Using a polycarbonate reference sample whose indentation modulus was determined by nanoindenation, the modulus of elasticity of a SU-8 polymer sample was successfully determined. In the future, not only roughness measurements but also Young’s modulus measurements in microbores <100 μm in diameter will be possible.

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Within the EU Marie Curie Project INTERAQCT, PTB developed a new acceptance testing procedure for the specification of the performance of Computed Tomography (CT) systems dedicated to multi-material measurements. Therefore, for example multi-material hole cubes were created to determine the length measurement error. Their application was successfully proved and tested in different CT systems.

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Data Analysis Service for Precision Engineering

The data analysis support provides advice to adopt numerical and system theoretical procedures to the specific tasks of the different departments. The support covers detailed advice and implementation support as well as tests and comparisons. Furthermore, the roughness reference software RPTB is also taken care of here, Opens external link in new windowhttps://www.ptb.de/rptb.

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