Materials Characterization

The properties of a material can be thoroughly investigated by utilizing state of the art materials characterization techniques. We can do some of these studies in house and others in collaboration with our external partners.

Optical microscopy (OM) uses visible light to visualize the microscopic features on a studied substrate at greater magnifications. This technique is commonly used for quick characterization of substrates before and after corrosion tests.

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) uses accelerated electrons to visualize and analyze the features on the surface of the studied surface. The SEM allows to study substrates at even greater magnifications and also perform localized microanalysis.

Coating thickness can be assessed by studying cross-sections via microscopy or by using a thickness measurement gauge.

The elemental composition of a material can be studied by exciting it with high energy electrons or X-ray radiation.

In a scanning electron microscope (SEM), the microanalysis is done by exposing the studied surface detail to a beam of accelerated electrons and simultaneously measuring the resulting characteristic X-rays. This allows to measure the average elemental composition of a sample or the local elemental composition in a microscopic area. In addition, it is also possible to map the distribution of elements on a studied microscopic area.

In X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF), the elemental analysis is done by exposing the studied material to primary X-ray radiation and measuring the resulting characteristic X-rays. This allows to precisely measure the average elemental analysis of a material. In XRF it is also possible to measure the thickness of thin films on a smooth and flat surface if the density of the film is known.

The final selection of the appropriate elemental analysis technique is done based on the study requirements.