Optical microscopy (2D/3D)

Confocal laser microscope CLM

The confocal laser microscope supports three-dimensional optical surface imaging. An image is generated by moving the very sharply defined focus level vertically through the object. The lateral resolution is in the 1 μm range and the height resolution is in the range of a few nanometres. This method delivers quantitative information within a few minutes, among other things about surface topography, roughness, step heights, pitch angles or particle sizes. It is much faster compared to profilometric methods and can also be used for the imaging of soft or unstable surfaces such as polymers or powders. Measuring through transparent surface layers is also possible to a certain extent.

CLM image of particles on a surface

CLM image of particles on a surface.
© Fraunhofer IST

3D particle imaging also supports the statistical evaluation of particle diameters, shapes and thicknesses.

CLM image of Vickers impressions in a surface

CLM image of Vickers impressions in a surface.
© Fraunhofer IST

The example of Vickers impressions shows that a quantitative determination of hole depths and opening angles is possible.

Height profile of a point grid

Evaluation of line cross-section profiles of a point grid.
© Fraunhofer IST

Evaluation of line cross-section profiles of a point grid.