Thin Film Analysis

As an industry leader in thin film coatings, our metrology and analysis capabilities for thin films are state-of-the-art. As we achieve extremely high standards for our own coatings, we can help to assure that the coatings on your glass, metal, or plastic are meeting or exceeding industry standards.


Reflectance Measurement for Thin Film Coatings


Our Specular Reflectance and Transmittance measurements are available at any wavelength range from 186nm to 25microns. The UV, Visible and Near Infrared (NIR) regions are measured on our PE Lambda 900, a dual beam spectrophotometer which operates in the 186nm to 2500nm wavelength range. For Infrared (IR) scans we use a state-of-the art fourier transform instrument, the PE Spectrum Optica 100, which covers 2.5 to 25microns.

With both instruments we offer a range of standard incidence angles: near-normal, 30, 45 and 60. S and P polarized measurements can be made at any of these angles, and custom AOI can be accommodated as a special request.

All reflectance scans are comparative, made relative to a known reference standard. For high reflectance coatings, we use NIST traceable front surface aluminum and gold mirrors. For low reflectance measurements we use a calibrated BK7 wedge sample.

All optical scans come with hard copy, electronic tabulated data and a measurement certificate, complete with measurement information and calibration data.

Thin Film Physical Metrology


In addition to testing the optical properties, we offer advanced testing and analysis of the physical properties of the thin film coatings. Using our Dektak100 Sylus Profilometer by Nano-Burker, we provide the evaluation of substrates, surfaces and films for three key aspects: surface condition, step height, and curvature. These attributes are all measured with a high degree of precision and repeatability, and used to determine micro-roughness, thickness, and film stress.

Thin Film Stress Measurement

Out of the three physical properties, measurement of thin film stress is the most involved. Using our Dektak Stylus Profiler, we are able to determine the stress level of the thin film which can help determine if the film or substrate is at risk of deformation, cracking, and other failures that can put a device out of commission.

In order to make a stress measurement we measure the curvature of the substrate prior to deposition and then measure it again after the film is deposited. We then use the bending plate method in order to calculate the stress level in the thin film layer. The levels are calculated based on the change in curvature as well as the properties of the film and substrate.

Thin Film Thickness Measurement

Again, using our Dektak Stylus Profiler, we are able to provide detailed analysis of the thickness of a given thin film. With excellent step height repeatability and 3D mapping options, we are able to use the Dektak Stylus Profiler in order to provide extremely accurate assessments of the thin film thickness.

Thin Film Roughness Assessment

In addition to measuring thickness, the advanced options for surface metrology provided by the Dektak Stylus Profiler include assessing the roughness of a thin film's surface. Again, due to the incredible accuracy and precision of the profiler, we are able to map out the exact surface using software in order to get an up close look at the thin film in order to analyze the micro-roughness of a thin film.


Cryogenic Measurements for Thin Films

Using cryo-cycling, we are able to do simple high low ramping tests, as well as develop multistage thermal profiles for a thin film coating. Using a Janus CCS-450 with a Lakeshore Cryogenics 331 controller, we have the ability to cool substance to below 15K as well as moderate the heat up to 373K.

Environmental Testing for Thin Films Coatings

As rugged durability is essential for many aerospace, avionics, and military applications, we provide testing services to measure this attribute. Using a variety of environmental testing chambers, we can offer tests for the following 

  •  Adhesion
  • Abrasion
  • Temperature & Humidity
  • Salt Fog
  • Solubility