PVD systems
CVD systems
HPPMS/MPP systems
  Surface analysis
Surface Characterization

Surface characterization plays an important role in understanding connections between process-microstructure-properties of thin films and coatings. Listed below are the surface characterization facilities in ACSEL labs and MME department. Further information about these instruments may be obtained from the ACSEL faculty contacts.

Dektak profilometer

The Dektak IIA is a contact surface profile measuring system that accurately measures vertical features ranging in height from 131 μm - 20 nm on a wide variety of substrate surfaces. The system calculates film thickness; wear test depth and surface roughness.

Veeco optical profilometer

The Veeco Surface Profilometer is a non-contact surface profile measuring system, which uses two separated optical technologies to measure film thickness, wear test thickness, surface roughness and surface topography (the surface in three dimensions).This instrument can be used in two modes, Phase Shifting Interferometry (PSI) and Vertical-Scanning Interferometry (VSI).PSI allows one to measure smooth surfaces up to 160 nm with a resolution of 0.3 nm and VSI measures rough surface and steps up to 500 μm with a resolution of 3 nm.

CSM microcomp scratch and indentation tester

(Dual Monitoring, optical viewing, both scratch and indentation modes, 0.3 – 30 N load for scratch mode, acoustic detection)

Teer scratch tester

The Teer Coatings ST-2200 Scratch Tester is an instrument that performs both wear and scratch testing.The test system is capable of various scratch/wear and directional programs that compute several calculation curves such as: Friction vs. Load, Friction and Load vs. Time, and 1st and 2nd derivatives. These curves enable one to determine the critical load and coefficient of friction of a coating. Scratch testing load ranges from 5-150 N and variable table speeds. Wear testing loads are limited to 5 N.

CETR microtribometer

The CETR Microtribometer is a pin-on-disc-tribological instrument which may test a wide variety of materials and sample sizes. The instrument can determine friction and wear resistance at micro/nano levels facilitating the use for thin films. During testing, the Universal Microtribometer can measure parameters such as, friction force and friction coefficient, wear/wear rate (including fatigue, abrasive and adhesive wear), adhesion force, contact resistance, contact acoustic emission, temperature in friction zone and the critical test load

MTS nanoindenter

A depth-sensing indentation instrument that measures both hardness and elastic modulus. This instrument has two modes, XP and DCM (Dynamic Contact Module).

XP mode is typically used for bulk materials and thin films with thicknesses greater than 1 μm. This mode is capable of using loads greater than 500 mN.

Displacement resolution: < 0.01 nm
Load resolution: 50 nN (5.1 μgm)
Maximum indentation depth:2000 μm

DCM Mode is typically used for very thin films (< 1 μm) as the instrument uses ultra-low loads for very shallow indentations.

Displacement resolution: < 0.0002 nm
Load resolution:1 nN (0.1 mg)
Maximum indentation depth:15 μm

The multimode dunk tester

The multimode tester is rotation system created by ACSEL capable of reproducing various situations that occur during aluminum die-casting. Ejection shot cycle; solidification time, lubricant, and casting temperature are all reproducible die cast parameters.


Thin film porocimeter


UV spectrometer



Copyright 2010 Advanced Coatings and Surface Engineering Laboratory All Rights Reserved.