Elemental Analysis of Thin Films & Coatings

Bruker's innovative instruments allow to quantitatively characterize the chemical and microstructural composition of thin films and coatings by simultaneously determining the elemental distribution as well as the crystallographic texture, strain, grain metrics and nature of grain and sub-grain boundaries.

Chemical Identification

Chemical Identification

There are numerous methods to chemically identify films and coatings using FTIR spectroscopy. These are transmittance, attenuated total reflection (ATR), gracing angle reflectance (GIR) or infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy (IRRAS), polarization modulated IRRAS (PMIRRAS). Depending on the film thickness, optical property and supporting substrates different measurement mode(s) can be preferentially applied. 

Metallic Coating

Analyze Metallic Coatings

Metallic coatings are used as environmental barriers, actively protecting an underlying material from degradation. In engineering and construction materials they are applied on structural metals and alloys. For optical devices, they are used as mirrors and silvering in headlight reflectors. Metallic coatings are also found in everyday objects such as eyeglasses, utensils, watches, jewelry and toys. The properties of these coatings largely depend on their thickness, crystalline structure, chemical composition and mechanical endurance. Bruker offers a wide range of analytical tools for electron microscopy or as standalone to facilitate the development of such coatings. For example with micro-XRF for quantitative analysis of metallic multilayer stacks for composition and coating thickness.  And electron microscope analyzers (EDS, EBSD, WDS) for fast and reliable quantitative chemical and structural anaysis. 

Nanostructured Thin Films

Quantitative Characterization of Nanostructured Thin Films with On-axis TKD

Nanomaterials are usually investigated in the Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM). However, it is possible to characterize nanomaterials quantitatively by benifiting from the large field of view of the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). The on-axis TKD technique was developed to this aim; it is now a well established SEM-based method producing orientation distribution measurement at the nanoscale using EBSD hardware. In this application example, the orientation distribution of gold and platinum thin films were measured with e-Flash FS detector retroffited with OPTIMUS TKD head in a FEG-SEM. High speed TKD measurement are achieved at low probe current (<3 nA) allowing to overcome beam drift and achieve ultra high spatial resolution: in 20 minutes over 1000 grains were measured with the smallest grain size being 20 nm and ultrafine features such as twin boundaries were resolved (3nm).

ARGUS color-coded dark field image of the Au thin film acquired at 3 nm spatial resolution

Related Products

Related Products


Electron Microscope Analyzers

To extend your SEM/TEM analytical power, Bruker’s electron microscope analyzers EDS, WDS, EBSD and Micro-XRF on SEM offer the most comprehensive compositional and structural analysis of materials, including analytical software for advanced materials research, process development and failure analysis.
M1 MISTRAL benchtop micro-XRF spectrometer


Compact multi-purpose benchtop micro-XRF for small spot (100 µm) and multi-layer analysis (2 nm – 60 µm thickness range), compositional analysis down to ppm level
Спектрометр FT-IR Платформа: INVENIO

ИК-Фурье Спектрометр Станция: INVENIO

В любое время модернизируемая станция ИК-Фурье спектроскопии для продвинутого контроля качества, аналитического обслуживания и различных, например, многоспектральных исследовательских.
OPTIMUS™ detector head in working position beneath the electron transparent sample.

OPTIMUS TKD Detector Head

Bruker’s high performance eFlash EBSD detector series can now be configured with the OPTIMUS™ TKD detector head which was specifically designed for best sample-detector geometry for on-axis Transmission Kikuchi Diffraction analysis (TKD) in SEM.
Спектрометры серии VERTEX FT-IR

Спектрометры серии VERTEX FT-IR

Высококачественные вакуумные или продувоные спектрометры, обеспечивающие максимальную производительность и максимальную гибкость, регулируемую для особых потребностей в сложных областях исследований.