In addition to SEM, other tecniques are avaylable for thin films characterisation:
Leitz Metallux Metallographic Microscope
The Leitz Metallux was built for metallographic structure investigation of thin polished sections.The main task is microscopic examination and documentation of metals, plastics, ceramics and composite materials.It is also used for quality controls of semi- and finished products.
The Dektak IIA Surface Profilometer is an instrument to measure the vertical profile of samples, thin film thickness, and other topographical features, such as film roughness or wafer bowing.
A diamond stylus is moved vertically into in contact with the sample and then moved laterally across the sample for a specified distance. The instrument can measure small surface variations in vertical stylus displacement as a function of position. The Dektak profilometer can measure small vertical features ranging in height from 100 Å to 650,000 Å on a 5″ Diameter Sample Stage. The height position of the diamond stylus generates an analog signal which is converted into a digital signal stored, analyzed and displayed. The radius of diamond stylus is 12.5 microns, and the horizontal resolution is controlled by the scan speed and scan length.
Leitz Microhardness Tester
Microhardness testing is a method of determining a material’s hardness or resistance to penetration when test samples are very small or thin, or when small regions in a composite sample or plating are to be measured.
ELCOMETER Adhesion Tester
Pull Off Adhesion: simple to use, quantitative range giving a definitive adhesion value, ideal for the laboratory or field on flat or curved substrate applications. Tensile Dollies (or stubs) are glued to the coating and, when the adhesive has cured, the force required to pull the coating off the surface is measured.
REVETEST Scratch Tester & Friction Coefficient measurement system;
Scratch Testers are dedicated instruments for characterizing the surface mechanical properties of thin films and coatings, e.g. adhesion, fracture and deformation. The scratch tester’s ability to characterize the film-substrate system and to quantify parameters such as friction and adhesive strength, using a variety of complementary methods, makes it an invaluable tool for research, development and quality control.
This technique involves generating a controlled scratch with a sharp tip on a selected area. The tip material (commonly diamond or hard metal (WC)) is drawn across the coated surface under constant, incremental or progressive load.
Four Point Probe:
A four point probe is a simple apparatus for measuring the resistivity of thin film samples. By passing a current through two outer probes and measuring the voltage through the inner probes allows the measurement of the substrate resistivity.