Surface analysis and microscopy

The following list briefly explains the principle of some of our methods for surface analysis.
In addition, typical areas of application are presented as examples:

Electron microscopy (SEM-EDX)

  • The scanning electron microscope (SEM) is a device for imaging surface structures. Images of high resolution and depth of field are obtained. In addition, the distribution of different materials can be visualized. With the help of energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), the local elemental composition of the different sample areas can also be analyzed.
  • Fields of application: Structure and composition of components, damage analysis, stains and impurities, analysis of competitive products, ...

Surface Analysis (ESCA)

  • Electron Spectroscopy for Chemical Analysis (also XPS) analyses (semi-quantitatively) the elemental composition of the uppermost nanometres (10-15 atomic layers) of solids. The method also provides information about the bonding states of the elements. The ablation of layers by sputtering allows the measurement of the depth distribution of elements (depth profile).
  • Fields of application: Adhesion, wetting problems, paint delamination, surface and interface characterization, corrosion protection, reactivity of catalysts, ...

Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)

  • AFM (Atomic Force Microscopy) is a microscopic method in which the surface of a sample is scanned with a fine needle. Complete three-dimensional information about the topography of the surface is obtained. With suitable samples, an atomic resolution is achieved. The measurements can be carried out in air or in liquids.
  • Fields of application: Analysis of microroughness, measurement of minute height differences, visualization of the local distribution of chemical information on the surface.

Molecular spectroscopy (IR/Raman/UV-Vis)

  • In molecular spectroscopy, absorption or scattering of the incident light occurs. This is characteristic for certain molecular fragments. The recorded spectra show specific bands for certain molecule components, which makes it possible to identify organic materials in particular.
  • Fields of application: Analysis of organic components, polymer characterization, damage analysis, stains and impurities, analysis of competitive products, ... 

Roughness measurement

  • With the aid of a phertometer, the surface of a sample is scanned with a needle of defined geometry and standardized roughness parameters are calculated.
  • Fields of application: Profile, waviness and roughness, average roughness Ra, contact ratio, roughness depth, ...

Other chemical and physical analytical methods:

Rainer Ziel
Failure analysis, microscopy and surface analysis
+49 6022 81-2645
Dr. Stefan Sollinger
Failure analysis, spectroscopy
+49 6022 81-2672
Rotes Blutkörperchen auf Membraninnenwand einer Dialysemembran (Colorierte Aufnahme mit Rasterelektronenmikroskop)


In addition to the processing of the order analysis
we also offer our intensive seminar 
"Problem-solving surface analytics".

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