Layer thickness determination and layer thickness measurement

Determination of layer thickness using a specimen slice.
© Fraunhofer IST
Measurement of layer thickness measurement in practice: Determination of layer thickness using a specimen slice.

Different methods of coating thickness determination and coating thickness measurement

Depending on the type and thickness of a coating, there are various non-destructive and destructive layer thickness testing methods

1. Profilometric, by measurement of a layer slice

2. By creating a cross-section and using microscope imaging (SEM)

3. By creating and measuring a crater section

4. With the aid of X-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF)

5. Eddy current or magnetic induction

6. X-ray reflectometry (for layer thicknesses of 1 - 200 nm on smooth substrates)

7. EPMA: By determining the mass occupancy of the layers

8. Ellipsometry and photometry for transparent coatings


The right procedure for every problem

We provide you with advice as to which coating thickness measurement method is best suited for your particular problem. Each method has its strengths and weaknesses, is suitable for different coating materials or thicknesses, is differently complex and provides different accuracy.

Current examples




High-relolution surface imaging by means of the raster electronic microscope


Abrasive wear-testing of surfaces


Thickness, density and roughness of ultrathin layer systems


Chemical micro-range analysis of surfaces by means of x-ray spectroscopy