Surface and Nanostructure Analysis

Surface Characterization via Surface and Nanostructure Analysis

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy
X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy
Flugzeit-Sekundärionenmassenspektro- metrie
© Fraunhofer IFAM
Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS) for analysis of the molecular surface composition
© Fraunhofer IFAM
Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) for high-resolution imaging of specimen morphology

Many technical properties and functions such as adhesion, wetting, corrosion, biocompatibility, friction, catalysis, and appearance depend to a considerably extent on the chemical and morphological structure of the outermost surface of the substrate material. The optimization of these properties requires a detailed knowledge of the chemical composition and topography of the surface.


Equipment/facilities and services

The surface and nanostructure analysis team at Fraunhofer IFAM has a wide range of analytical and imaging techniques available for a comprehensive surface characterization:

  • For example, photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS) – provide detailed information about the elemental and molecular composition of the outermost surfaces of materials.
  • Imaging techniques – such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM with FIB option), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) provide information about topographic and morphological structures on various scales down to the molecular level.


Key activities

  • Characterization and evaluation of surface pre-treatment processes and functional coatings
  • Investigation of adhesion mechanisms and aging processes
  • Quality assurance and failure analysis