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Coatings are applied to a variety of materials to provide better physical or chemical/corrosion protection, to modify surface properties or because of aesthetic aspects. In addition, multiple layers are increasingly applied on top of each other while trying to reduce coating thickness, and increase homogeneity within a layer.

This evolution also calls for more high-performance equipment that allows the analysis of ever thinner coatings down to the (sub)micron scale in terms of coating thickness, homogeneity and chemical composition.

Today it is possible to determine coating thicknesses in the (sub)micron range from SEM images or EDX element analysis via line scans. EDX mapping also offers the additional possibility to also evaluate the homogeneity of a coating, while EDX single point analysis can demonstrate the presence of microcontaminations.

Application notes