Confocal sensor systems for displacement, distance, position and thickness


Confocal chromatic sensors offer an innovative solution for measurements of displacement, distance, position and thickness with maximum precision and high speed. Especially when measuring on reflecting and shiny targets, confocal chromatic sensors provide high accuracy. The non-contact measuring principle combined with a small measurement spot size make these confocal chromatic sensors ideal for inline quality assurance.

Confocal chromatic sensors and controllers from Micro-Epsilon provide unsurpassed advantages in terms of measuring rate, sensitivity and precise thickness measurement. Different sensor models and controller interfaces open up a variety of application fields, e.g., in the semiconductor industry, glass industry, medical technology and plastics production.


  • Almost surface-independent measurement, even for mirrors and glass
  • Extremely small measurement spot size for recognition of the smallest details
  • Nanometer resolution
  • One system for both distance and thickness measurements
  • Fastest measuring rates for dynamic measurement tasks

Distance measurement on any surface

In contrast to laser-optical sensors, confocal chromatic sensors are almost independent of the light reflected by the surface. Therefore, the distance can be measured from dark and mat surfaces as well as from shiny and reflecting surfaces without causing the sensor element to overdrive.

One-sided thickness measurement of transparent materials

The confocal chromatic measuring principle enables thickness measurements of transparent materials such as glass. The thickness is detected to micrometer accuracy using just one single sensor which uses the reflections of the front and rear side of the material. These reflections generate peaks on the CCD array based on which the corresponding distance and thickness are calculated. The evaluation of up to 6 peaks enables measurements of multi-layer objects, e.g., laminated glass.

Ready for vacuum

Confocal chromatic sensor systems from Micro-Epsilon are basically suitable for use in vacuum, as the sensor consists of passive components. Furthermore, they do not emit any heat radiation. Particularly for use in vacuum applications (especially in high vacuum (HV) and ultra-high vacuum (UHV)), Micro-Epsilon offers special sensors, cables and accessories to meet the specified requirements. The confocalDT sensors are, for example, used for mask positioning and air gap monitoring in the display assembly.

Controllers with high resolution and high speed

The confocalDT controllers provide an excellent signal-to-noise ratio enabling measurements at high accuracy. With a measuring rate of 70 kHz, they are among the fastest controllers worldwide and are frequently used for dynamic measurement tasks. The fast surface compensation feature regulates the exposure cycles in order to achieve high signal stability even with changing surfaces. Interfaces include RS422, Ethernet or EtherCAT and Analog Out.

Ease of use via web interface

The user-friendly web interface makes it possible to perform the entire configuration process of controller and sensors without additional software. The web interface can be accessed via Ethernet and provides set up and configuration options. For thickness measurements, materials are stored in an expandable materials database. Data output is via Ethernet, EtherCAT, RS422 or analog output.

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