Some examples of the kinds of measurements that can be carried out at the Facility.  If you have any queries or would like more information  please contact us.

Surface layer Composition – identification of surface species, mode of adhesion/bonding, elemental or chemical information e.g coating composition, presence of contamination, corrosion

Surface species identification:

XPS (Elemental Composition)

IR (Chemical Composition at both Solid/gas interfaces and Liquid/Solid or Solid/Solid Interfaces)

Contamination - surface cleanliness

Surface Layer Purity:

IR (at both Solid/gas interfaces and Liquid/Solid or Solid/Solid Interfaces)


Coating and thin film thickness, density and defect identification - organic or inorganic

Thickness of a Layer:


Optic analysis – semiconductors, dielectrics etc

Refractive Index of a Layer:


Surface tension and Elasticity measurements – surfactant analysis, applications in personal care, soaps and detergents, inks, paints etc

Interfacial Tension and Interfacial Elasticity

Drop Shape Analysis (at Liquid/Vapour and Liquid/Liquid interfaces)

Surface wettability – analysis of surface treatments, adhesion, surface purity, surface hydrophobicity for water repellent coatings

Contact Angles:

Drop Shape Analysis (Solid/Liquid/Vapour and Solid/Liquid/Liquid interfaces)

Measures vertical deviations of a real surface from its ideal form – quality control of applied coatings and thin films, analysis of substrates prior to coating adhesion

Surface Roughness:



Building up a 3D picture of the surface – applications in semiconductors and microelectronics as well as coating finish, crack/defect presence, imaging of biomolecules in both solid and aqueous state, biocompatibility of medical devices

Interfacial Topography:

AFM/STM at both the air/solid and liquid/solid interfaces


Measures variations in surface friction - identifying transitions between different components in polymer blends and composites, identifying contaminants on surfaces, delineating coverage by coatings


Lateral Force Mapping:

AFM in Lateral force mode

Measures variations in surface magnetism – applications in recording media/information storage

Magnetic Domain Mapping:

AFM in MFM mode

Simultaneous surface topography and surface potential measurements – applications in identifying electrical failures, quantifying contact potential differences between metals/semiconductors, mapping strength/direction of polarisation

Surface Potential Microscopy:

AFM in Surface Potential mode

Nanoparticle analysis

Specific Surface Area:

Particle Counting and Sizing:

Surface area analysis




Chemisorptions – catalyst active site measurements

Chemically Active Site Density:

Surface area analysis

Assessing structure of porous materials – quality control, effect of chemical treatments on structures


Surface area analysis

Measures nanoscale structures of electrochemical reactions – study of electrodes

Electrochemical AFM

Electrochemical Ellipsometry

Electrochemical Microscopy (ECAFM)