Ask the Expert: Surface Contact and Optical Metrology

During this live Ask the Expert event, we will answer pre-submitted questions from our audience regarding materials analysis with various surface contact and optical analytical techniques such as AFM (Atomic Force Microscopy), NI (Nanoindentation), Profilometry (stylus or optical). These techniques are helpful for providing physical properties of bulk materials and thin films.

AFM is traditionally used to obtain topographical surface properties, but can also be used to obtain a variety of other properties such mechanical, electrical, magnetic or compositional information with high spatial resolution (both bulk and thin film).

NI evolved from the classic hardness test into a family of techniques where force-displacement data are continuously recorded while penetrating into a surface with a contact body of known geometry, and using physical models to extract elastic and plastic properties. It is a high throughput technique, which allows insights into spatial distribution of those properties with high resolution as well as insights into a range of other properties such as to brittle behavior, stiction, film adhesion, topography or wear.

Profilometry, similar to AFM, is used to measure surface topography though it is typically used to measure larger surface areas. Traditional contact (SP) and optical methods can be used to obtain surface roughness, critical dimension analysis, and film thickness.

The combination of these techniques provides an excellent suite of tools to address processing issues faced during the development of highly specialized solid state materials in the fields of semiconductor devices, high power electronic devices, compound semiconductors, bio materials, or failure analysis.

Do you want a deeper understanding of these techniques for materials analysis? Are you new to the industry (or just want a refresher) and want to learn what AFM, NI, SP and OP can do for you? If so please join us for an intimate Q&A with Eurofins EAG Laboratories technique experts. During this 60-minute session our experts will answer pre-submitted questions from our audience. If time runs out and all questions have not been answered a follow up email will be sent out to all attendees with those answers.

Related Resources


  • Tyler Flanagan, Ph.D.
    Team Leader
  • Ilja Hermann, Ph.D.
    Senior Scientist
  • Byong Kim, Ph.D.
  • Stephanie Williams, MS

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