Morphology & Topography
Morphology is a qualitative evaluation of the three dimensional shape of a surface, whereas topography provides quantitative feature dimensions. The choice of analytical technique depends on whether qualitative and/or quantitative information is required.
Morphology, or "what a sample looks like," is best evaluated using imaging techniques, such as optical microscopy or Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). These methods can also provide layer thickness and other quantitative information.