Surface Analytics

At the RMS Foundation we can offer you the following services in the area of surface analyses:

Services for surface analytics (general):


Special application:

  • Crack inspection: Dye penetration for visualisation of cracks or overlaps.
Chemical surface analysis:
  • X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS): Chemical analysis of the top 10 nm. Particularly suitable for inorganic materials and determination of oxidation states.
  • SEM with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX): Chemical analysis of small areas such as particles with an information depth of approx. 1 µm.
  • Infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR): Organic analysis of layers or particles on the surface.

Not a chemical analysis, but very sensitive in terms of chemical composition:

  • Contact angle: to measure surface energy and to assess whether a surface is hydrophilic or hydrophobic.
Surface cleanliness:



Topography and roughness measurement

Description: Contactless measurement of topography using interferometry, confocal microscopy and focus variation. From the topography, for example, the roughness can be determined using extracted profiles or also the surface roughness.
Standard(s): ISO 4287 / ISO 4288 / ISO 13565-2
Equipment: S neox from Sensofar



Surface contaminations

Description: Elemental analysis of surface contaminations
Equipment: X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), FTIR, TOC, TIC, TN



Documentation of surfaces + fracture surfaces by means of electron microscopy

Description: Documentation of surfaces and fracture surfaces on organic and inorganic samples and components using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to determine surface topography and structure
Equipment: Scanning electron microscope Zeiss Sigma 300 VP with EDX analysis (AZtec Oxford with UltimMax 40 detector) with secondary and backscatter electron detector, Alicona MEX software (3D images, roughness measurements)



Macro and microscopic documentation

Description: Macro- and microscopic documentation of all kinds of samples
Equipment: Leica DMI5000 M inverted light microscope, Leica M205A stereomicroscope, Canon E0S 700D



Measurement of the contact angle

Description: The determination of the contact angle on a sample allows a quick characterization of the surface: Is the surface hydrophobic or hydrophilic? Is the sample contaminated? Was a coating process successful? Using two different test liquids, the effective surface energy can also be calculated.
Standard(s): ASTM D7334 / DIN 55660-2
Equipment: Surftens universal from OEG GmbH



Testing of technical cleanliness according to VDA 19 Part 1 / ISO 16232

Description: Performing standard-compliant component cleanliness analyses with regard to particles (residual dirt). Preparation of cleanliness test procedures (decay measurements, blank values, number of measurements, rinsing parameters, filters). Gravimetry, determination of the total mass of all particles present on the component (residual dirt). Light-optical analysis, counting and measurement and classification of particles into metallic, non-metallic and fibers. Advanced analysis, material determination of particles and particle analysis by SEM / EDX or FT-IR analysis.
Standard(s): VDA 19 Teil 1 / ISO 16232
Newsletter: NL 28: Prüfung der Technischen Sauberkeit nach VDA 19 Teil 1
  • Stainless steel vacuum filtration unit Sartorius / Wash cabinet Hydac CTU 1040
  • Analytical balance Mettler AX 205 / Filter analysis system Jomesa HFD4
  • Scanning electron microscope Zeiss Sigma 300 VP with EDX analysis (AZtec Oxford with UltimMax 40 detector)
  • FT-IR microscope Bruker Lumos

Contact:  Dieter Streit +41 32 644-2021



Crack testing / PT testing

Description: Penetrant testing to find defects that are open to the test surface (e.g. cracks, overlaps, folds and pores) on all materials, provided the material is not attacked by the test equipment and is not extremely porous.
Standard(s): DIN EN ISO 3452-1 / ASTM E 165 / ASTM E 1417
Equipment: Red dye penetrant or fluorescent penetrant, solvent-based intermediate cleaner, solvent-based wet developer



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